Monthly Archives: November 2010

Katydid Cones

I’m sorry that I didn’t post yesterday.  We were outside in the cold (it was sunny, but when the breeze blew up, it was still bone chilling cold) all day, and then we drove home to Southern Pines after having to find someone with jumper cables to charge the dead battery on our car!

Even though the day essentially started an hour later thanks to the end of daylight savings time, there was still frost on the pumpkin, the grass, the windshields as cones got underway.

Richard (my husband and scorer) sat at a table next to the announcer’s stand with his computer.  His hands were so cold, I’m not sure how he managed to enter the numbers.  He finally took my bright orange gloves. I had already loaned by heavy winter coat to one of the judges, so it we all kept finding more layers to add.

Reba Wagner

Reba Wagner won the Training Level Pair Horse Class with her Percherons Lewis and Clark. This was Reba’s second CDE.

A few of the many beautiful awards presented at Katydid

Katydid has several special awards which are presented at the appropriate time.  They give an award to the oldest competitor so the warm-up stewards had to tactfully ask many of them “are you over 65?”  Dona Love was the recipient. 

The Claye Clyatt award is given to the best preliminary driver who is a member of the Aiken Driving Club (I think I have that right).  Shelly Temple won that driving the pair of her Cooper and Jack Wetzel’s Harry.

Caroline Whittle -McSwain

Light blue ribbons were given to the winners of the Carolina Challenge – those who competed in both Pine Tree CDE two weeks earlier, and Katydid. Caroline Whittle-McSwain won her class (Preliminary Pony Team) and the Challenge.

The course seemed to drive well. There were two zig zags and the distance was the same for all competitors.

Dana Bright, second of the Intermediate Pair Ponies

Paul Maye managed to remain in first place after his “GPS system failed him,” as announcer Nicho Meredith explained Maye’s wandering around the course having lost his way momentarily.

With dark approaching the 70+ entries cleared out and headed home.


Katydid – Marathon Day

Ok, enough of the cold weather – this is South Carolina! It got down into the 30s overnight, and it doesn’t seem much warmer now at about noon. I’m surprised the water hazard didn’t have a skim of ice on it. 

Last night a dinner in the big tent was held for the volunteers.  The hot chili was very much appreciated by those who had been in the cold all day. The big propane heaters did a great job as well, so it was very cozy in there.  Each volunteer had been given a ticket and there was a drawing for gifts.

The training level was about half finished when the intermediate single ponies  started on Section A.

Claudia DeLorme in Obstacle 6

Another great attention to detail here: they’ve tied a string to a  pair of reading glasses and attached them to the board where the scores are posted. With all us aging baby boomers, they are being well used!

Course designer Barry  Hunter is setting up the cones course while the marathon is going on, so by the time it is over, competitors will be able to walk the course tonight instead of waiting until tomorrow morning. 

Setting up the cones course

Jessica Brister

Paul Maye

Claire Reid

Joan Schisler was on her way to completing obstacle four (the one with the cow) with her tandem, when the carriage hit a post and flipped over, dumping the driver and navigator out, and the horses dragged the carriage on its side for a way before stopping.  People and horses seem to be ok, but probably very bruised. The show went on. Earlier in the day Dwayne Pash had a tip over.

Already competitors are walking the cones course as the marathon goes on.

Dana Bright in the Carousel while Fred Merriam heads to the last obstacle

There will be a competitors’ dinner in the big tent tonight.

Friday at Katydid

The rain has stopped, the sun was shining this morning, but it has clouded back up and is still cold.  The judges just came in for the lunch break and their hands are so cold – they seem to feel a need to touch us to prove it!  Soup of the day for officials and volunteers is lobster bisque and split pea soup!  The lobster bisque is famous here.

Katydid is the second leg of the Carolina Challenge.  Those who competed two weeks ago at Pine Tree CDE in Southern Pines and are competing here will have their scores combined. 

Secretary Peggy Dils says “If you’re not here, you are missing a good time!”  It’s fun to see Chester Weber wearing a different hat – judging rather than competing.  I’m sure the Training Level competitors feel very special to be judged by the silver medalist at the World Equestrian Games.

Chester Weber judging dressage

Tomorrow, since the training level only does Section E, the Intermediate single ponies will be starting on Section A at the same time. By the time the Intermediates get to Section E, the Training Level will be finished.

Here are some of the beautiful obstacle decorations:


After a long hot summer, it was rain and cold that greeted competitors this morning at Katydid. The rain stopped as the first Intermediate tandem driver, Tracey Morgan entered the ring (although the first few got wet warming up), but the cold continued.

Kail Palmer – Pres. of the Jury, and ground jury member Sue Mott’s rain coats were soaked through after inspecting the course early this morning, so they donned plastic garbage bags under over their clothes to make a barrier between them and their wet rain gear. Chester Weber’s, (the third member of the jury,) plane was a little late, so he missed the soggy course walk and stayed dry.

The competition started at 11 with two Preliminary Tandems and two Preliminary pony teams and then there was a lunch break.  The Intermediate division followed, and is still going on.  At this moment, it looks as if the skies are brightening.  Friday all the Training level and Preliminary level drivers will go.

Actually, everyone is happy for the rain because they have been so long without that the track will be much better as a result.  Competitors are being asked to keep off the track, even on  Section E to preserve the track.  Too many ATVs just churn up the sand and make the going much deeper for the horses and ponies than it has to be.

This year, Katydid didn’ t offer Advanced level, but opened it up to Training Level drivers.  For many years, there weren’t enough Training level entries to warrant holding the division, but to everyone’s delight, there are 29 training level entries – 17 single ponies! 

Katydid, just outside of Aiken, in Windsor, S.C., has become an extremely popular fall event.  Including scratches and those on the waiting list, the number of entries would be over 80. About 75 are actually competing.

Officials and volunteers enjoyed homemade hot soup and salad that secretary Peggy Dils provided. 

A competitor briefing is scheduled for 5:30 tonight.  When the sun comes out I’ll try and take some photos of the obstacles. I don’t think there are any new ones since last year. 

The rest of the weekend is supposed to be dry, although unseasonably cold.