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by Renee Wormell

Easter Outing
The 65th annual Easter Dawn Service was held on the shores of Fawn Lake, in Bedford, MA at 6:30am on Sunday, March 27. Lay representatives from five of Bedford’s churches led the service early on Easter morning. A brass ensemble performed at sunrise while several swans drifted by. 

Three GSCA members, dressed in their Easter finery attended the service together; Holly Saari driving her miniature horse Moonshine’s Lil Candy, Kathy Mercurio driving her mini horse Celeste the Rock Star, and Nancy Foley driving her pony Mustang Sally. Attendees were thrilled to see the trio trotting down the lane to attend mass and many expressed their excitement after the services. The ladies ended their morning with a brisk drive on one of Bedford's unpaved railroad beds.  KMercurio Easter Service 2016GSCA members Kathy Mercurio, Holly Saari, & Nancy Foley drove their mini horses to Easter Dawn Service at Fawn Lake, Bedford, MA

The Driven Image Carriage Driving Conference and Trade Show:
The first “Driven Image” Carriage Driving Conference and Trade Show was held on March 19 & 20, 2016 in Amherst, MA on the grounds of Hampshire College, just down the road from UMASS Amherst.  Lisa Cenis of “Shoot that Horse” photography did a great job organizing this event.  It allowed carriage drivers, carriage sales and service dealers, clubs and organizations, and many notable names in carriage driving throughout New England to network, share ideas, and learn from one another.

Leslie Baxter and Connie Moses did a great job setting up our Granite State Carriage booth on Saturday, with pictures and handouts, complete with our new club banner.  Connie brought a lap top and monitor and was able to show the journey up Mt. Washington she and Rick made with their pair.  This was a big draw and many swung by our table to watch.  It was great to see GSCA member Barbara Frake there showing and selling her beautiful illustrations and artwork.

On Sunday, Connie was joined by Eric Wilking at the booth.  By all accounts, Sunday was not quite as busy as Saturday, but a steady stream of patrons passed through the exhibit area and stopped and talked at our booth.  By the end of the weekend, many potential new members had club information, our 2016 calendar of rides and drives, and brochures in hand.  Two new members joined during the show.

Linda Wilking was asked to present at the show and on Sunday afternoon, she spoke for about an hour on how she started driving and how others can have fun driving also.  All topics from pulling a vegetable cart for a business, competing at Combined Driving Events (CDE’s) and Pleasure Shows, as well as the joys of recreational driving were discussed.

Many thanks to all who helped and attended the event, and we hope Lisa Cenis holds it again

GSCA Members at Touchstone Farm:
Unfortunately, Boo Martin had to postpone the GSCA “Spring Fling” drive/ride at Touchstone Farm on May 1st  due to some cold rainy weather, but the weekend before was great for the “Frostbite” Arena Driving Trial (ADT) Series.  On Sunday, April 24 Granite State Carriage was well represented at the show. Three of the 15 competitors were from Granite State Carriage.

Jean Harvey with her pinto pony pair and Susan Rogers competed at the training level and Linda Wilking with Spinney at Preliminary.  A good time was had by all.  It gave everyone a chance to get back in the show sprit and get ready for another exciting season
Thanks to Boo for hosting the “Frostbite” series and we look forward to the rescheduled GSCA drive/ride. We look forward to attended the rescheduled “Spring Fling” drive/ride at Touchstone Farm later this spring.

DayofConesSylviaMvGSCA member Sylvia Miskoe and “Frodo”
enjoyed a Fun Day of Cones, hosted by
Linda Wilking in May
Fun Day of Cones:

GSCA member Linda Wilking hosted a “Fun Day of Cones” on May 7, 2016.  The day started off damp with a little mist and drizzle, but that dried up by mid-morning.  Seven drivers took part in the fun cones schooling competition.

GSCA members, Leslie Baxter, Doug Coursey, Hilary DeAngelis, and Susan Drover all had fun in morning, driving the two full courses, then in the afternoon after a great pot luck lunch, they had the chance to “pick their own route” thru a course and finally test their driving skill on a progressively more difficult course.

Susan Drover was the only driver to negotiate the progressive course clean.  Six sets of cones were used.  After their wheels were measured we added 51cm of clearance to the 1st set, then dropping to 40cm, then 30 cm, then 20cm, then 10cm, and finally finishing with the last set at only 5cm of clearance.  WOW, great job Sue!

Thank you also to Diego Rubio, Magdalena Kenter and Rachel Nydan for competing.  Sonja Cahill wanted to play, but the wet week before made it hard to fetch her trailer and safely make the trip north.
Thanks much to new GSCA member Susan Koso for judging the competition and offing kind words and helpful comments to all, and a special thank you the Epping “Bits and Spurs” 4-H club for providing volunteers to help set cones.Day of Cones Leslie BLeslie Baxter negotiates a cones obstacle at Fun Day of Cones event hosted by GSCA member, Linda Wilking

Upcoming Events:
GSCA’s “Spring Fling” at Touchstone Farm, postponed due to bad weather, has been tentatively rescheduled for Saturday, May 21st. GSCA members are looking forward to the Myles Standish State forest camp-out June 17th – 19th.  The first of two planned Acadia Meet-ups is scheduled June 19th to the 28th.  Affiliate Maine Driving Club also has several events scheduled in June.  Be sure to check GSCA’s website for contact info.

NEW!  Consolidated Carriage Driving Events Calendar:
ANNOUNCING!  A NEW consolidated Carriage Driving Calendar for the Northeast online!
A new and long-needed Calendar for carriage driving events in the Northeast is now live online at   https://teamup.com/ks202194978f27d035. Most major driving events and activities in the Northeast region are on this Calendar for 2016. Clubs, clinics, and therapeutic barns are represented and in process. Granite State Carriage Association and Connie Moses have put this Calendar together as a service to the driving community; it is something that has been desired by horse folks and talked about for a long time.

GSCA Blog is up and running:
For your reading pleasure…  INTRODUCING our NEW club blog, “Horse Smarts & Carts”,  on the GSCA website, which will be chock full of ongoing stories, training information, useful horse management tips, photos, and GSCA monthly “Recaps & Reminders.” http://granitestatecarriage.org/index.php/activities-photos/horse-smarts-blog

Time to Join/Renew:
Membership renewals are now due!  Early renewal helps our club meet annual obligations and prepare for spring events. Please promote our club to your friends and fellow horse enthusiasts, be they carriage drivers or riders, or just like hanging out with cool, horsey folks!  GSCA is a fun and friendly group of people who host some of the best driving and riding events in New England!  Updated brochures are available through any board member.

GSCA is dedicated to the promotion of safe, recreational, pleasure driving.  Single day and multi-day driving events are held all over New England. Riders are welcome at most events.  Dues are a bargain at only $25 a year (for $1 more, also become an affiliate member of Maine Driving Club!). Participation in most events is free, except for stabling or camping fees or catered meals if applicable.  Find out more about GSCA, and find a calendar of events at www.granitestatecarriage.org. Find us also on FaceBook – “GSCA Granite State Carriage”.

See GSCA's Calendar of Activities and find us also on FaceBook – GSCA Granite State Carriage .

RECAPS thanks to Renee Wormell, Sec. GSCA

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