Kentucky is known for thoroughbred racing, but a different kind of horse racing is coming to the Bluegrass.
The Hermitage International Training Center in Goshen, Ky., will host the second annual Hermitage Classic Horse Driving Trials Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 24-25.
The combined carriage driving competition will feature a dressage and cones competition on Saturday that tests a carriage driver’s skill in transitions of speed, gait and ability to move the horses in harmony.
Sunday’s Marathon Course competition will feature drivers navigating a series of six hazards, which include guiding the horses and carriage through water and other intricately constructed obstacles.
The event includes entrants from Kentucky, Ohio, Florida, North Carolina, Australia and British Columbia. They will be judged by a panel that includes Mike McLennan, a competitor at last year’s World Equestrian Games.
The event also will include activities and special events that will create a carnival-like atmosphere. Vendors selling handmade leather harnesses and other tack room supplies will be on hand, and milliner Katie Whaley will be selling her whimsical hats that have been featured around the world. Food will be available for purchase throughout the weekend.
Proceeds from the event will benefit the International Contemporary Art Foundation, a nonprofit collecting and lending institution that seeks to promote greater understanding and enjoyment of contemporary art for all audiences and to create a rich arts community.
Hermitage is a 700-acre horse farm and training center owned by Laura Lee Brown and Steve Wilson.
Saturday, Sept. 24
- 8 a.m.: Gates open
- 9 a.m.: dressage and cones competition begins
- 3 p.m.: tour of the Marathon Course
Sunday, September 25
- 9:30 a.m.: gates open
- noon: marathon competition begins
- 4 p.m.: awards ceremony
General admission tickets are $5 at the gate (children under 12 are free). A special Sunday tailgating for six package that includes a front row table, picnic basket from Proof on Main and Champagne is $900. Sunday VIP party tickets, which include VIP parking passes, all-day access to on-course tent and a brunch buffet are $250.
Hermitage Farm, 10500 West Highway 42, Goshen, Ky.
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