A variety of turnouts, from four-in-hands to small pony pairs, competed in the 2015 Katydid Combined Driving Event. Katydid CDE is generously hosted at Katrina Becker’s Katydid Farm in Windsor. The show featured Training, Preliminary and Intermediate levels of competition, with two days of dressage, marathon and cones. The show also hosted a Sunday Brunch, with the proceeds benefiting The Aiken Land Conservancy, that was well attended in spite of Sunday’s rainy weather.
Dressage on Thursday saw some nice scores, the best of the Intermediate earned by Boots Wright of Ocala, FL and her chestnut pony pair. Friday saw the Training and Preliminary competitors. The best Training Level score was Linda Willis with her small pony pair. Linda winters in Aiken and often drives her small ponies and minis as a pair and four-in-hand at local events, proving bigger isn’t always better. Linda finished on her dressage score to win the Training Small Pair Pony division. Judy Canavan and her Friesian/Thoroughbred cross had the best Preliminary score, and after dropping to second after marathon, moved just ahead of Bill Allen in cones to win the Preliminary Single Horse Division.
In 2014, the show experienced snow for Saturday’s marathon. This year, the weather was sunny and high 70s. Much nicer for the spectators, but there were a few tired horses on Saturday. As always, marathon day is the most popular to watch and the show welcomed a number of spectators.
Sunday was rainy and cool for cones, but attendees of the Sunday Brunch turned out to watch the final day of competition. The time allowed proved difficult for many competitors with many driving clear with time faults. Janelle Marshall posted the only double clear round for the Intermediate Level to win the Intermediate Single Horse division. Originally from Australia, Janelle lives and trains in Windsor.
Cones determined the final outcome for the Preliminary Single Pony division with Alice Baughman having just a few seconds in time. She jumped ahead of dressage winner, Irene Gillis, who ended up second. Alice was driving her chestnut German Riding Pony, Kurbaum’s Scooter.
Katydid CDE is the biggest driving event of the fall here in Aiken, but the Katydid team has a number of Driving Derbies planned beginning in January. Derbies are a speed event that are very popular with spectators. More information can be found on their website: http://www.katydidfarm.com The Aiken Driving Club also has a number of pleasure drives and holiday events planned with information located at http://www.aikendrivingclub.com