The National Drive has returned to the Kentucky Horse Park. Last year, due to the World Equestrian Games which took over their regular weekend, it was held at the Hoosier Horse Park in Edinburgh, Indiana. This year over 250 horses, ponies, mules and donkeys and almost 300 people are sharing the KHP and the weekend with the Kentucky Classic CDE.
Although drivers could move in on Monday, driving did not officially begin until Tuesday. I arrived yesterday evening, but went straight to the hotel instead of coming out to the Horse Park. I missed the ‘Chili Dump’ dinner, which I understand was a big and somewhat unexpected success. People came bearing their own version of chili – some homemade, some out of a can. It was all dumped into a big cooker – except for the white, chicken chili which was kept separate – and I understand it was delicious.
As always, all drivers must stop at the central staging area for a safety check before being allowed to drive. A colored sticker is affixed to their number to indicate that they passed. The CDE drivers will be identified by bridle numbers.
Something new this year is the new trailer which doubles as an office for the wonderful and cheerful ‘staff’ – Kathy Blank, her daughter Christy and her granddaughter. A huge white tent covers the surface 17 and 18, and since the weather is supposed to be glorious and sunny, it will provide shade instead of shelter from rain.
As usual, the variety of equines is amazing. From donkeys to drafts, ponies and Percherons, Morgans and minis. The miniature donkeys have attracted a crowd of admirers, especially the three-abreast.
Private lessons are ongoing throughout the week, as are CAA Proficiency Tests.