Category Archives: Ponies

Aiken Pony Hunter Derby

The hunter show at Highfield’s Event Center in Aiken held a hunter derby for ponies. So, turned up to take a few pictures. Was thinking it was on the derby field, but was in one of the rings. They came up with some cool jumps anyway and a more interesting course than the usual. Of course, the ponies were super cute and mostly well behaved. Some of the kids went off course in the second round, so I guess it was a bit challenging.

Aiken Driving Club Pleasure Show

The Aiken Driving Club held their annual pleasure driving show on April 30 at Wendy O’Brien’s beautiful Trout Walk Farm. A variety of turnouts, from minis to large horses, took advantage of the nice weather and lovely setting. In addition to the standard ring classes, a cross country class and cones class were offered. Janelle Marshall organized most of the festivities and Caroline McSwain was the judge.

These and other photos are available at http://proofs.meghanbenge.com

Also posted in my work

Windsor Driving Derby Finals

The Windsor Driving Derbies wrapped up with the finals, held April 3rd.

Gene Rhinehart

Gene Rhinehart

IMG_8082_katydid_derby

IMG_8085_katydid_derby

I liked the pony in the bandana.

Kim Allen

Kim Allen

Caroline McSwain

Caroline McSwain

Kim Allen and Fudge

Kim Allen and Fudge

Mary Baillie and Archie

Mary Baillie and Archie

Caroline McSwain

Caroline McSwain

The VSE’s are always a hit and kind of well suited for Derby driving. Kim Allen and Fudge were the ultimate winners of the Single VSE. Caroline McSwain and her four in hand are always fun to watch.

Smoke and Mirrors

Smoke and Mirrors

Ray Mansur

Ray Mansur

Pony pairs were Ray Mansur with his Haflingers and Janelle Marshall driving Sherri Dolan’s pair of ponies.

Also posted in Combined Driving

100th Annual Aiken Horse Show in the Woods

The Horse Show in the Woods celebrated its 100th edition this year. Located in Hitchcock Woods right in downtown Aiken, the show is a must-see. This year, the show had its largest leadline class ever. Most of my photos are from leadline, but also a few of the costume and family classes.

Grover

I have had the opportunity to photograph Grover on a number of occasions, but he is just starting to come into his own as a riding pony. Here he is schooling dressage just after Christmas in Southern Pines, NC.

Grover is a German Riding Pony stallion owned by Miranda and Keady Cadwell. His first foals were born last year.

2015 Pine Tree CDE

Closeup of wheeler driven by Paul Maye

Closeup of wheeler driven by Paul Maye

Pine Tree CDE is one of my favorite shows to photograph. They have great fall colors and light (sorry Aiken). This year, Pine Tree was completely full for the weekend show and also held a combined test on Friday. For the first time, Pine Tree also offered a VSE division. Unfortunately, only three turned up, hopefully it will be better attended if they offer it again. I competed on Friday, so had plenty of time to take photos on Saturday and Sunday. I took tons of photos of Maggie Sullivan and super adorable Elmo. It was Maggie and Elmo’s first show in a year, and they did awesome!

Maggie Sullivan and Elmo in dressage at Pine Tree

Maggie Sullivan and Elmo in dressage at Pine Tree

Elmo closeup

Elmo

Maggie Sullivan and Elmo in cones at Pine Tree

Maggie Sullivan and Elmo in cones at Pine Tree

I have a million super cute photos of Elmo…

Next, it was fun to see these guys…

Ed Hopkins schooling at Pine Tree CDE

Ed Hopkins schooling at Pine Tree CDE

The grey half of Ed Hopkins’ pony four-in-hand is sired by my stallion, Ziggy. Below left is Ziggy at the Laurels in 2006 (I think?). On the right, is Xena, who is sired by Ziggy out of a Section D mare. Zigs definitely stamped his kiddo!

 

Ed Hopkins and pony team in cones

Ed Hopkins and pony team in cones

They were super good kids!!

Paul Maye entering Vet box at Pine Tree CDE

Paul Maye entering Vet box at Pine Tree CDE

Pine Tree also saw Paul Maye with Harmony Sport Horses new four in hand make their American debut of sorts. They are fun to take photos of!

 

Horse four-in-hands in the schooling ring at Pine Tree

Horse four-in-hands in the schooling ring at Pine Tree

Josh Rector had a bunch of clients competing at the show, so brought his four-in-hand for some lessons with Keady. He has a bunch of interesting new horses as well.

 

Also, here are more pictures of cute ponies I photographed! And Dana and Manny Diemer (technically Randy took this picture but whatever.) And a cute kitty!

 

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Also posted in Combined Driving

Summer 2015

Since we are halfway through October, I guess it is time to finally admit summer might be over. I like the cooler weather, but not the shorter days! Even though fall is when Aiken gets really busy, there were still plenty of events to photograph throughout the summer. I am a total slacker as far as blogging goes, so this post is a giant synopsis of the entire season.


In July, I traveled to Southern Pines, NC and visited Tremont Farm. Grover is their German Riding Pony stallion and this is his first offspring.


Next was the USDF show at Highfields in Aiken.


Also, a schooling dressage show at Three Runs Plantation.


Bruce’s Field at the Aiken Horse Park opened as well. I took a whole lot of photos there and could not decide which ones to post!


Then the Memory Ride Hunter Show, also at Three Runs Plantation.

Fall events are starting soon. I am going to Pine Tree CDE in a week, so check back for more photos!

Also posted in Combined Driving

Windsor Driving Derby Finals

The final driving derby took place at Katydid Farm on Easter Sunday, April 5th. Lighter hearted participants dressed up in their Easter finery for the event. The day was perfect weather for a tailgate party and many people turned up to watch. For the final, the whole course was rearranged and was much more open than the previous derbies. However, this caught some people and there were a few extra circles here and there. My favorite turnout was, of course, Flake! Flake logged the third fastest time of the day of ALL the entries. He was only beaten by Rebecca Gutierrez and Boo Fitch.
flake miniature horse
Hopefully, driving derbies will continue to grow in popularity. It seems to be very fun for both participants and spectators! Click on the photos for a larger view:

Also posted in Combined Driving, Minis

Windsor Trace CDE

Windsor Trace CDE Hosts American Driving Society’s National VSE Championship.

The Windsor Trace CDE is held around the corner from my mom’s farm in the Windsor Trace subdivision. The dressage is held at Bev Lesher’s Courage to Lead Farm and the marathon winds through the surrounding farms, with the water hazard at Bob and Susan Burrows farm. Minis were out in abundance as the show was awarded the ADS’ national championship for VSE’s. While the participation in the ADS Championships has been a little lukewarm, one thing they do is give great prizes, with the winners receiving quarter sheets and halters. All in all, the second year of the Windsor Trace CDE seemed to go a lot smoother than the first and proves there is a place for low key type shows in this area. If you care about results, they are on drivingnews.us, otherwise, here are some photos from the weekend.

I took a lot more photos, which can be seen on my Shootproof page here: Windsor Trace CDE Photos.

Also posted in Combined Driving, Minis, my work

Windsor Driving Derby #1

A bunch of people turned up for the first driving derby of the year, held at Katydid Farm. Katydid is holding a series of driving derbies this spring, three qualifiers and then a final derby. There was a good turnout, with entries coming from North Carolina and Virginia, as well as local drivers.

The ADS put together rules for driving derbies in 2015. On one hand, it is good to have a rulebook for clarification. On the other, the entry fees went up. The ADS rules include a Training level division, which is trot only. Preliminary is any pace. Katydid ran two rounds with the winner having the best combined score. It was interesting that a few people eliminated or had course corrections on their second round. Oops.

Unfortunately, I had to leave in the middle, so not many photos. But here they are anyway!

 

Also posted in Combined Driving, Minis