A Glimpse into the Maine Driving Club
The mission of the Maine Driving Club is to encourage and promote the sport of equine driving. We offer training, education, and information to our members in the various phases of pleasure and competitive driving, as well as pleasure horse ownership. We provide a forum for people interested in the sport of driving in the State of Maine to come together for social activities and to share ideas and information.
The MDC welcomes all who have an interest in carriages or driving, regardless of age, skill level or the type of driving you do. Beginner drivers and those who would just like to "ride along" are also encouraged to join us!
Maine Driving Club
By: Paula Leavitt
Beautiful venues this year for the three derbies in our summer series. The first, held in June, was hosted by Tailwind Farm in Winterport, Maine. Home of Janette and Shane Giles, this property was the first commercial apple orchard in Maine. The course sloped gently downhill, crossed a short causeway and incorporated ancient apple trees as an obstacle. Our second derby, at Seacoast Farm in Wales, Maine, owned and operated by Jenny and K.C. Wells boasts a permanent obstacle and large, flat fields and a roomy indoor arena where we were able to stay dry on this rainy day. The third hosted by Mary Louise and Phinneas Sprague of Spurwink Farm, Cape Elizabeth, Maine, gives us a view of the ocean while negotiating the course. Stable
manager, Karen Friedlander, marked a trail drive, winding through fields, estates and along the
ocean, for competitors to enjoy after the competition.
Members of MDC cannot thank you all enough for opening your homes and property to us. What a wonderful summer we have had.
Our summer days here in Maine are precious and Mary Plummer sacrificed three of them to
judge our three events. We can’t thank you enough. Thank you to all the volunteers who chose to spend their Saturdays helping to make the Derbies a success.
The Championship at training level was awarded to Anna Bigelow and her Shetland Pony Zoot.
Anna and Zoot competed in the small pony class.
The Reserve ribbon at training level was awarded to Kassi Farrar and her pair of VSEs Bentley
At Preliminary level the Championship was awarded to Hana Poulin and Welsh Cob Ashland
The Reserve ribbon at Preliminary level went to Judy Chamberlain and her VSE Twinkle.
The Open division was won by Bob Giles and Morgan mare Rose.
Congratulations to all! Many more competitors came out to try their hand at these fun events.
Many for the first time and that is true courage. We hope to see you next year. Perhaps we’ll see
some new faces as well.
The third and last Derby in the MDC series was held in Cape
Elizabeth on 9/15/2018. There were ponies everywhere! A Dartmoor,
Welsh Cob, and several Shetlands. A mini British invasion it was. There
are three pony classes, VSE, Small pony and Pony. These classes held
nine of the thirteen competitors.
The course, designed by Barbara Chadwick, and challenging our
mostly ‘old’ memories, consisted of thirteen sets of cones and two
obstacles. The grass was a bit wet from the morning fog making a
slower pace prudent.
Spurwink Farm Manager, Karen Friedlander, had a beautiful trail
drive marked for anyone wishing to extend the day. The drive took just
over an hour and wound through fields and orchards and across estates,
ending with the last few minutes along the ocean. Making an enjoyable
hour, soaking up the scenery with our horses.
Spurwink Farm Derby Results
Small Pony 1st Anna Bigelow and Zoot
Pony 1st Nancy Wines-DeWan and Brenna
2nd Elizabeth Hamilton and Sky
Horse 1st John Lawrence and Ziva
2nd Paula Leavitt and Rkay’s Autumn
3rd Linda Archer and Impressive
VSE 1st Judy Chamberlain and Twinkle
VSE Pair 1st Kassi Farrar and Jasper & Bentley
Pony 1st Hana Poulin and Ashland Seven
2nd Patsy O’Brien and Alexander
Horse 1st Bob Giles and Rose
Mary Plummer volunteered to give up three precious summer days
to judge our derbies. What an awesome job. Mary, we can’t thank you
Barbara Chadwick, organizer extraordinaire, donated many hours
getting ready for each of the three derbies. And, her course designs are a
blast to drive.
Ansley Newton too, was a regular, volunteering her time wherever
needed. A huge thank you to all of you. Also to Karen Friedlander for
setting up, taking down, and marking that most enjoyable drive along the
To Mary Louise and Phinneas Sprague for opening their
spectacular property for our enjoyment, thank you. It is a treat to be
We hope to see you all, and new faces, next year!
The second, in a series of three derbies, was held Saturday, August 4, at Seacoast Farm in Wales, Maine.
Dry as our summer has been, who would have thought it would rain on our day. Nine turnouts arrived believing that only showers would slow them down. Not to be. When it wasn’t raining hard it was raining gently. Wet to their waists all were in great spirits, chattering as they walked the course and waited their turn in the rain.
The course was both interesting and challenging. Seacoast sports a permanent obstacle made of telephone poles that was way too much fun. The cones course included a circle, a new twist, and easier said than done. This one designed by course designer Barbara Chadwick to slow us down! Well, and of course to show off our driving skills as we finessed each gate. We even had a special guest appearance by Wonder Woman and her amazing equine partner . . . Twinkle! One never knows who you will see at a MDC Derby!
In Training Division:
Small Pony- Anna Bigelow with Thordale Zoot 1st
Pony- Nancy Wine DeWans with Brenna from Ice Follies 1st
Horse- Linda Archer with Impressive Morning Star 1st
Paula Leavitt with Kay’s Autumn Abby 2nd
VSE Pairs- Kassi Farrar with Bentley and Jasper 1st
Preliminary Division: VSE Single- Judy Chamberlain with Twinkle 1st
Horse: Hana Poulin with Ashland Seren 1st
Pony- Sondra Day with Pryzm 2nd
Open Division: Bob Giles with Rose 1st
A huge thank you to Jenny and KC Wells for opening their home to us and
for all the hard work and use of equipment that goes into hosting this type of event. Thank you to all the volunteers who arrived the day of, to lend a hand in the rain; and the volunteers who helped set up the day before; the competitors who threw caution to the wind and braved the elements; to Mary Plummer and Barbara Chadwick for being Judge extraordinaire and derby organizer. A shout out to Katie Adams-Gary for her talent as mimosa master!
Our first driving derby was held June 23 at Tailwind Farm in Winterport.
The course was set over rolling greens and an apple orchard and included cones, a culvert "causeway", an obstacle consisting of apple trees, and a hazard in the field. It was a small turnout of 8 drives and everyone enjoyed themselves with the different terrain and obstacles, which gave spectators something to watch!
Thank yous go out to Janette Giles for hosting and designing the fun course. Thank you to Mary Plummer for judging, Barbara Chadwick for organizing and the many volunteers who helped make everything run smoothly.
The placings are as follows:
VSE Training Pairs - 1st: Kassi Farrar/Bentley and Jasper
Sm Pony Training - 1st: Anna Bigelow/Thordale Zoot
Pony Training - 1st: Judy Stevens/Annie
Horse Training -
1st: Hana Poulin/Cruiser
2nd: Barbara Pretorius/Surprise Ending (Prize)
E: Linda Archer/Impressive Morning Start
Prelim Pony - 1st: Hana Poulin/Ashland Seren
Int Horse - 1st: Bob Giles/Rose.
Pictures by Bailey Sutherland Photography
President: Janette Giles
Vice-President: Hana Poulin
Secretary/Treasurer: Paula Leavitt
Publicity: Janette Giles
Website: Janette Giles
Join the Club.
Membership in the Maine Driving Club is open to anyone with an interest in carriage driving. We welcome beginners to advanced drivers as well as those who simply might like to come along for a ride.
Select a membership option below to register online, or print this form and send a check by mail to: Paula Leavitt, Treasurer, MDC, P.O. Box 36, Dixmont, ME 04932
Want to cancel your membership? Click here.