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Carolina Carriage Club Driving Trials wet but fun

The weather at FENCE, throughout Memorial Day Weekend, 2009 was variable, to say the least.

Despite torrential downpours and steamy humidity, all who attended, either as entry, official, or volunteer were seen smiling — at some point. &bsp;

Thirty eight Whips challenged the Dressage, Cones, and Marathon competitions of the Fifth Annual Carolina Carriage Club Horse Driving Trials as they celebrated the first National Carriage Driving Month.

Peggy Keeler. Aiken, SC and Salute, a 21 year old Hackney Pony, received the Award for Best Preliminary CCC Member score in addition to the Championship of the Preliminary Division,

The Best Training Division CCC Member score was earned by Laurel Pyatt, of Columbus, NC and Mojo, a 7 year old Morgan/Haflinger gelding.

Paul Dougherty, of Windsor, SC and RB Solitaire, a 13 year old Morgan Mare, were Champions of the Training Division in addition to earning the Best Training Division Dressage score.

The Best VSE (Very Small Equine Division) Dressage score was earned by Karen Payne, Gaffney, SC, and her 9 year old 36&dquo; high Chestnut Pinto mare, Southern Classic Rainy Day Toy, whose name was a most fitting description for the entire event.

Despite the rain on Sunday morning, the Marathon competitors splashed safely through their obstacles. &bsp;

Following Obstacle Five, the Preliminary competitors toured the creek, providing photographer Mark Lehner of Hoofclix.com some spectacular photos.&bsp; Mark remarked how much he enjoyed the friendliness of the competition.

Hardy Zantke, President of the Jury, and Technical Delegate Penny Nicely gave high marks to the efforts of the competitors and organizers for a safe and challenging event. &bsp;

Both were particularly praising of the &dquo;Potato Bar&dquo; that has become tradition following the Course Walk.&bsp; Sponsor Hungry Fox of Landrum provided the &dquo;Spuds&dquo;, but first time hostess for this event, Marqueta Thomas, seemed a bit concerned by the still empty food tables thirty minutes before the event.

Sue Carrier&squo;s E-mail planning resulted in more than enough wonderful and inventive &dquo;sides&dquo;, provided by the fabulous cooks of the Carolina Carriage Club arriving &dquo;just in time&dquo; either cold or warm to feed the hungry crowd.

No Carolina Carriage event would be quite complete without&bsp; Bernard and Jean Hall, of Inman delivering beverages and snacks to volunteers and competitors throughout the weekend. &bsp;

Bernard&squo;s Segue and Jean&squo;s bright yellow electric &dquo;Hummer&dquo; are always welcome, and there was great disappointment when the weather proved a bit too damp for the Hummer. &bsp;

Jean assured all it would be fit for any weather when the CCC Pleasure Show takes place September 25-27 at Harmon Field.