Nashoba Carriage Classic

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Article & photos by Nancy Brannon

[2019 Show Report Download]

[View More Photos]

The 2019 Nashoba Carriage Classic had beautiful fall weather to celebrate the 20th anniversary on October 18-20 at the Germantown Charity Horse Show Arena in Germantown, Tennessee. The weekend weather couldn’t have been better – sunny skies and mild temperatures made a perfect outdoor setting, and the popular show attracted 183 entries. Muffy Seaton had the tough task of judging the exhibitors over the weekend, with Craig Kellogg as technical delegate. The show benefited War Horses for Heroes, a nonprofit organization based at Oak View Stables in Olive Branch, Mississippi that provides equine-assisted therapy to veterans who have sustained service-related mental or physical injuries.

The driving action started on Friday evening with the Mint Julep Driving Derby. The course was set as an arena version of the marathon phase of combined driving, with various obstacles that had to be negotiated in order and in the correct direction. Spectators could enjoy Hors d’oeuvres and mint juleps while watching the action-packed driving competition.
Two of the original members of Nashoba, Phil and Connie Prichard provided Sweet Lucy for the mint juleps served during Friday night’s Julep Driving Derby. They now live in Kelso, Tennessee and own Prichard’s Distillery. Ingredients for a Sweet Lucy Julep: 2 oz. Prichard’s Sweet Lucy, several springs of fresh mint, powdered sugar, and soda water.

The Driving Derby competition was tough, with several entries turning on the speed and turning in fast times. First to go was Sara Harn driving Rhen, with Suzanne Campbell navigating. Next was Joanna Wilburn with Rollingwoods Berry Last One, ready to turn on the speed. She galloped through the course, finishing with a time of 1:44.93. That would put her in first place in the Single Pony division.

Next of the Junior drivers to go was Allie Rudisill driving the small pony Fifi. After the third set of cones, Fifi was feeling rather feisty, bucking and crow hopping to the next obstacles. But Allie took it all in stride and smoothly negotiated the remaining obstacles in a fast time of 1:54.08.

Up to the challenge was Natalie Hanisco driving Tinker Toy, another small pony. Tinker Toy was fast and agile, finishing the course in 1:38.98. A new leader!

Next in the arena was Kitty Walters driving Dim Sum, another small pony, but larger than the previous two. Kitty’s precise and quick driving techniques brought her through the finish in 1:34.60. That would earn her the blue ribbon in the Junior division.

Kayla Benson was next up, driving Madoc Look at Me. She and her navigator gave the course a good try, but her time of 2:16.56 put her in fourth in the Junior division.

Dr. Ruth Wilburn drove her golden pony Rollingwoods Cookie Thief next, and made concerted efforts to out-do her sister Joanna, making some sharp and precise turns through the obstacles. But her time of 1:59.79 would eventually put her in third place.

Tonna Scepanski and her palomino-colored Cat Creek Mezma-Eyes Me turned on some speed, too, but finished in fifth place.

Wanda Chancellor and her Rollingwoods Movin’On Up is also a veteran Derby driver and her marathon-type carriage made plenty of “fishtails” around the obstacles at speed. Her final time of 1:48.84 was just 03.91 seconds behind Joanna Wilburn to put Chancellor in second place in the Single Pony division.

Joanna Wilburn was back in the ring, this time as navigator behind Alex Clarke driving another grey pony, Rollingwoods Back in Black. Joanna was doing the balancing act, keeping the carriage steady around the fast turns. Alex drove the pony in record time: 1:35.11, but was just 0.51 seconds shy of besting Kitty Walters, and coming in second place.

Next in the Single Horse division was Kate Bushman driving Bliss WH. Another veteran Derby driver, Kate knows how to get speed out of Bliss and whipped around the course in 1:47.47. Would it be fast enough for first place?

Earl Burkett, driving Easton, had something to say about that. He also came in gunning for speed with precision turns. He finished the course in 1:40.89 to win the Single Horse division and put Kate Bushman in second place.

Next to go was Reita Parham with her consistent Gypsy Vanner Down’s Delight. Reita is a careful driver, but also knows when to ask for speed. Her time was not quite fast enough and she placed third in the Single Horse division.

There was some tough competition in the Draft Horse division, with Laura Lawson driving a crowd favorite, in both driving and sidesaddle, KT Barnabus. In addition, professional drivers Chrissy Daniels and her husband Ken Daniels competed against each other with veteran, professional horses Sammie and Bob, respectively. Tim Lester drove Pam Anderson’s Rebel. The placings were: first, Lawson and “Barney;” second, Chrissy Daniels and Sammie; third, Ken Daniels and Bob; fourth, Tim Lester and Rebel.

On Saturday the atmosphere changed to elegant turnout and precision reinsmanship.

At lunch time, the inaugural Picnic Class featured “tailgating” in 19th century fancy carriage style complete with lace tablecloths. Patti Wolf of Ivanhoe, Texas was in full Halloween mode with her lunch of brain noodle salad, eyeball grapes, membrane cucumber sandwiches, and a vampire blood cocktail with cerebral spinal fluid vodka. She even brought her pet rats to keep her company on the picnic.

A crowd favorite in the afternoon’s pleasure show was the Carriage Dog class. Usually dogs ride in the carriages on the seat next to the driver. But this year’s winner was the Dalmatian, Roe, who trotted behind the carriage and his trainer/navigator Maggie Moore. Rose Marie Lawson was driving Milo.

Second was experienced carriage dog Mae Mae, the Pembroke Welsh Corgie, in the carriage with Pam Anderson, driving Rebel.

Third was Joanna Wilburn driving Rollingwoods Berry Last One with her “Memphis Street Dog,” a rescue, Michael.

Fourth place was Rudolph, a Schipperke, in the carriage with Charlotte Mangum, driving Naughty Pierre MPHA.

And fifth place went to Remington, a rescued by the side of the road dog, with Taylor Thomas driving CCO Bobby Cash.
Memphis Kennel Club donated the winning ribbons for the class and Hollywood Feed provided “goodie bags” for all the canine passengers.

Saturday night’s classes featured the sidesaddle riders, followed by the Exhibitor’s Dinner. 

Several folks who had attended the inaugural Nashoba Carriage Classic in 1999, held at Schilling Farms in Collierville, Tenn. – when it really was a farm – attended the Saturday evening dinner and reminisced about their early days and experiences with Nashoba. Beth Hudson Hitchman came from Boise, Idaho to attend, along with her daughter Rebecca Hudson Bullard, from Pulaski, Tenn. Peggy Turnipseed, of Collierville, was also among the 20-year Nashoba folks. Of course, Mary Liz Foster attended; she is the wife of the late Sonny Foster who was one of the founders of Nashoba.

Sunday again brought good weather for the relaxing Magnolia drive on the lovely wooded trails through Germantown Woods and neighboring estates. The drive simulates an easy Sunday country outing with some small hills and easy terrain. Several sidesaddle riders accompanied the carriages. The show culminated with a BBQ lunch and Pleasure Show awards and championships.

Kate Bushman won the Carriage Concours d’Elegance and Jennifer Sells won the Sidesaddle Concours d’Elegance, awards for the turnout which presents the most elegant effect. Full show results are available on our website:

Division winners:
Driving Derby: Juniors: Kitty Walters driving Dim Sum
                          Single Pony: Joanna Walters driving Rollingwoods Berry Last One
                          Single Horse: Earl Burkett driving Easton
                          Draft Horse: Laura Lawson driving KT Barnabus
Turnout: Juniors: Alex Clarke driving Rollingwoods Back in Black
               Single Horse: Kate Bushman driving Bliss WH
               Single Pony: Joanna Wilburn driving Rollingwoods Berry Last One
               Draft Horse: Laura Lawson driving KT Barnabus
Working: Juniors: Natalie Hanisco driving Tinker Toy
                Single Horse: Kate Bushman driving Bliss WH
                Single Pony: Wanda Chancellor driving Rollingwoods Movin’ On Up
                Draft Horse: Laura Lawson driving KT Barnabus
Reinsmanship: Juniors: Natalie Hanisco driving Tinker Toy
                         Single Horse: Kate Bushman driving Bliss WH
                         Single Pony: Claudia Mangum driving Rollingwoods Cookie Thief
                         Draft Horse: Laura Lawson driving KT Barnabus
Carriage Dog: Rose Marie Lawson driving Milo, with Dalmatian Roe
Timed Obstacles: Juniors: Natalie Hanisco driving Tinker Toy
                             Single Horse: Kate Bushman driving Bliss WH
                             Single Pony: Wanda Chancellor driving Rollingwoods Movin’ On Up
                             Draft Horse: Pam Anderson driving Rebel
Fault and Out: Juniors: Kayla Benson driving Madoc Look At Me
                         Single Horse: Kate Bushman driving Bliss WH
                         Single Pony: Dr. Ruth Wilburn driving Rollingwoods On the Up and Up
                         Draft Horse: Ken Daniels driving Duke
Costume Class: Jennifer Sills and Bogart
Sidesaddle Open Equitation Walk/Trot: Jennifer Sills riding Bogart
Sidesaddle Open Pleasure Walk/Trot: Jennifer Sills riding Bogart
Sidesaddle Open Equitation Walk/Trot/Canter: Jennifer Sills riding Bogart
Sidesaddle Open Pleasure Walk/Trot/Canter: Allie Rudisill riding Sudie
Sidesaddle Command Class Walk/Trot: Pam Anderson riding Rebel
Sidesaddle Hunter Hack 18”: Catherine Adams riding Oak Hill’s Wacky
Drive and Ride: Single Horse: Dr. Ruth Wilburn driving Rollingwoods On the Up and Up
Magnolia Drive, Sidesaddle: Allie Rudisill on Sudie
Magnolia Drive, Carriage: Sara Harn driving Rhen

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