Stockbridge, MA — Horse & Carriage Driving Event Comes to Orleton Farm on Saturday and Sunday, June 15 & 16 from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm. — Just minutes from Brook Farm Inn Brook in Lenox, MA.
Presented by members of Colonial Carriage & Driving Society. the 15th Annual Orleton Farm Pleasure Driving Show offers visitors the chance to enjoy the atmosphere of horse and carriage days gone by as they watch drivers in their traditional turnouts compete with their magnificent horses, beautiful carriages, and gleaming harness for ribbons, for the love of the sport, and to be part of the history and tradition of carriage driving in the Berkshire Hills.
The Berkshires was the place to come and be seen driving your horse and carriage during the Gilded Age of the late 19th Century. The large estates and wonderful carriage houses provided the perfect setting. Summer residents would be met at the Stockbridge train station and transported by the family horse and carriage to their “cottages.” Orleton Farm, a beautiful 200 acre farm nestled in the Berkshires at 31 Prospect Hill Road in Stockbridge, has been a part of that tradition as a horse facility since 1900.
The modern Pleasure Driving Show, presented by members of the Colonial Carriage & Driving Society, started 15 years ago at famous sculptor Daniel Chester French’s home, Chesterwood, in Stockbridge. The show remained there for three years, with the number of exhibitors and spectators increasing each year. The need for more space prompted the show to move to Eden Hill, one of Stockbridge’s great estates. In 2006, with the desire to add more classes, the show expanded to a two day format and moved to Orleton Farm. A Combined Test consisting of driven dressage and timed obstacles was added to the schedule in 2011.
Drivers (called “whips” in pleasure driving vernacular) come from the Northeast and as far away as Virginia to demonstrate their skills in reinsmanship in both ring and obstacle classes. A water crossing is a popular feature of the Cross Country Course. New classes this year include Old Guard (for drivers 65 and over!) and American Heritage, a nod to the turnouts of the turn of the century.
This unique annual event offers something for everyone as you stroll through the beautiful grounds of Orleton Farm, watching history come alive. The highlights of the show include: Berkshire artisans and other vendors at the Coach Barn Shoppes; tours of the collection of antique coaches, carriages and sleighs; wagon rides (weather permitting); and the “Horse Power Meets Horsepower” Car Cruise on Sunday. Food, catered by Madjack’s BBQ of Pittsfield, is available on site each day. The event is a perfect way to spend Father’s Day weekend with your family and friends. General admission is $5.00