Driving lesson

Three-day Lorenzo Driving Competition returns to Cazenovia – Eagle News Online

CAZENOVIA – After a two-year hiatus, the three-day Lorenzo Driving Competition (LDC) will return to Cazenovia from July 15-17.

Held on the grounds of the Lorenzo State Historic Site, the horse-drawn carriage competition is one of Cazenovia’s signature summer events and the only horse show of its kind in central New York City.

Visitors can park and experience the show for free, buy food from food trucks, shop, participate in a silent auction, and explore the site, including the Lorenzo Mansion, the French Gardens, the Dark Aisle arboretum, shed and vintage vehicle collection.

Located at 17 Rippleton Road, Lorenzo is the 1807 Federal-style home of John Lincklaen, agent for the Holland Land Company and founder of Cazenovia. The Lincklaen/Ledyard family continuously occupied Lorenzo until the property and contents were transferred to New York State in 1968. The site is operated by the Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation of New York. of New York State and supported with the help of Friends of Lorenzo (FO).

Since its inception in 1977, the LDC has usually taken place the third weekend of July.

“Lorenzo Driving Competition is the longest running American Driving Society-recognized pleasure driving show in the nation,” said show director Hannah Polson. “Over the past few years we have lost a number of great shows due to retirement of management and the loss of grounds and venues. It is important to keep this sport alive as it is a link to our past and showcases the elegance and grace of a bygone era, while showing the unique bond between driver and horse.Drivers are a friendly, supportive and enthusiastic bunch in the world of equestrian sports. There’s no better place to celebrate our shared history than having the show at the Lorenzo Historic Site.

In 2020 the show was canceled due to COVID-19, and in 2021 the organizers offered a modified version of the traditional event.

“We came up with a modified version so the pilots had something to participate in since so many other shows had been canceled,” Polson said.

According to Polson, LDC typically attracts between 60 and 80 competitors from New York, mid-Atlantic states and New England.

This year, 35 to 40 pilots are registered to compete.

“[We] have a competitor, Paul Maye, coming from Virginia who will lead the Ayrshire Farm Shires,” Polson said. “He will compete in two different divisions – Pair Horse and Antique Vehicle – with a pair of Shires. He will also demonstrate “Mad Man Driving” with the four horses on Sunday, July 17 at 11:45 a.m. in the main arena.

The 2022 competition will also include drivers and horses from New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Maryland, Connecticut and Ontario, Canada.

This year’s festivities kick off on Friday, July 15 with obstacle courses, a timed walk through the countryside and, starting at 4:30 p.m., two signature competitions in the main ring. The first is the Antique Vehicle Turnout, featuring vehicles built before 1940. The second, the Picnic Class, will showcase both the skills of the competitors – the art of communicating with the horse driving the carriage through reins, whip and voice – and the ability to set a festive table with homemade treats for the judge to enjoy.

The lessons will be followed by the “Hats off to Lorenzo!” opening gala, which will include drinks and appetizers on the lawn and a hat contest. Tickets are $25 at the door and include a souvenir wine or beer glass that can be refilled at no charge. Lamplit Farms will offer free carriage rides around Lorenzo’s estate, and the mansion will be open from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. for free tours.

Saturday, July 16 will feature a full program of pleasure driving lessons. The final classes before the midday lunch break are two fan favorites: the Carriage Dog class, which is judged primarily on the dog’s ability to serve as a companion to the driver, and the Drive & Ride class, in which the horses are harnessed. and driven in the first part of the test then, after lunch, ridden and judged under saddle.

“[The Carriage Dog class is] meant to be a fun, stylish and entertaining class, and there’s a huge ‘aww’ factor that isn’t part of the official judging criteria,” said LDC Board Member Janis Barth. “It’s not really a dog dress-up class, although there seems to be a natural affinity between poodles and flowery hats, and we had at least one bulldog in a top hat and tuxedo. I have yet to see a looker who is not putty in his paws.

On Sunday morning, the Pleasure Drive-Pace, another signature activity, will take horse and driver through the countryside surrounding Lorenzo. The course challenges riders to pace their horse(s) and finish as close to a pre-set ideal time as possible.

Classes resume in the main ring after lunch and continue throughout the afternoon.

“Lorenzo State Historic Site has happily hosted the Lorenzo Driving Competition for more than four decades, as the sport of horse-drawn carriage driving demonstrates the primary mode of transportation since Lorenzo’s construction and throughout its history,” said Lorenzo Site Manager Michael Roets. “It is a pleasure for us to have a weekend of horses and carriages moving through the landscape as they bring the history of the site to life for our visitors and help us showcase our vast collection of horse-drawn carriages and our exquisite 1891 Carriage House We are grateful to the Lorenzo Driving Competition Committee and the volunteers who year after year bring this excellent competition and demonstration of history to Lorenzo and the community of Cazenovia .

For more information on the LDC, visit lorenzodriving.org.

To learn more about Lorenzo, call 315-655-3200, visit parks.ny.gov/historic-sites/lorenzo/, friendsoflorenzo.org, or follow the site and FOL on Facebook and Instagram.