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42/ JUNE 2010 THE RIDER The


Carriage Driver Sold on Driving:


Mary Mulligan shares her story By Brooklynn A. Welden


Mary Mulligan has had a long, active life with horses. She shares her story of achieving her dream of horse ownership and why she turned to driv- ing.


“I always loved horses and


dreamed about owning one. That dream came true when my husband bought me a quiet, buckskin Quarter Horse in 1981. I assured him this was all I’d ever want as I didn’t want to show. Well, guess what! It wasn’t long until I NEEDED a little better horse and so on and so on. I got my


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4445 Posey Line, RR #1, Wallenstein, ON N0B 2S0 1-800-367-0639 • (519) 698-2754 • Fax (519) 698-2420 www.aaronmartin.cominfo@aaronmartin.com


www.driveontario.ca Visit


Central Ontario Pleasure Driving Association www.driveontario.ca/copda


Directors at Large: Mary Cork (705) 434-4848, tyandaga@netrover.com Tri-County Carriage Association


We’re all about enjoying carriages and driving in Ontario!


For information call Sue Nicolas at 519-848-6288 or email


TriCountyCarriage@sympatico.ca The Ontario Combined Driving Association


President: Mary Cork (705) 434-4648, tyandaga@netrover.com Secretary/ Show Secretary/ Volunteer Co-ordinator:


Marion Hawley (519) 856-4605, marion.hawley@sympatico.ca


Treasurer & Membership: Frances Uhran (519) 928-5923, angel_90_per_cent@hotmail.com


Website: Jeff Kohler, (705) 733-8161, jeff@relhok.ca Directors at Large: Janis Promaine (519) 942-4318 Courtney MacGillivray (905) 877-8798 Allison Plumbtree (905) 955-1070


OCDA Mailing Address: Frances Uhran, 182161 - 20 Sideroad, Orton, ON L0N 1N0


Eastern Ontario Pleasure Driving Society


Box 955, 6120 Rideau Valley Drive, Manotick, ON K4M 1A8 Website: www.eopds.ca


Membership applications available on the website or from the Treasurer. President: Mary Mulligan 613-692-3296, mianfarm@xplornet.com Vice-President: Lynda Rivington 613-567-7347 Treasurer: Jennifer Rennie 613-831-2154 Secretary: Maney McNeil 613-347-2541


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first Morgan by accident and have been sold on the breed ever since. They are attractive, a good size for me, intelligent, steady, and very sensible. Today I have my dream Morgan in Vig- ilmar Irish Thorn. He, along with two younger Morgans and our TB Stud live on Mian farm in Manotick, Ontario.


An


English Bulldog called Blossom and a Boxer called Laird complete our family of “fur kids”.


“Originally I rode exclusively, both astride and aside. I loved side saddle! Then when


plines such as Pleasure Driving and CDE’s can meet everyone’s driving desires and skills. Then of course there is recre- ational driving as well. Noth- ing beats a Social Drive through our twisting 5 KM trail through the woods on a fine Fall Day. Win- ter sleighing is also a blast! The highlight of our show season is showing at Walnut Hill in New York State.


The Mary Mulligan


I got a Morgan I and knew they were popular driving horses, I decided I’d like to try driving. I did both and showed in Morgan breed shows for about 20 years.


“Having retired from a teaching career in 1998 I planned to ride and play golf in my future. But fate intervened. I was blindsided with a bout of Lym- phoma Cancer in 2004, followed by a heart attack in 2006. The end result of this was my left lung was compromised to the point where I could only ride for short times and therefore could no longer show. I still ride around the farm, however. Wanting to continue interacting with horses and showing, getting into car- riage driving was a natural progression. I guess I chose to look at my glass as half-full.


“I use the word “progression” intentionally because I think there is a general feeling out there that carriage driving is for older people, or people who can’t do the breed stuff. Well let me clear up that notion! In my opinion, carriage driving is much more challenging and demanding both for the driver and the horse. It tests one’s skill and the horse’s athletic abilities to a far greater degree than does riding. And the variety driving offers is a great bonus. For instance, there are cones courses, dressage patterns and many, many cross country venues and obstacle- courses as well as the ring classes. All breeds can participate, and the beautiful carriages and fancy dress are icing on the cake! Combining two disci-


show itself is classy and the he Carriage driv- ing people I’ve met at Walnut


Hill are extremely friendly and helpful.


“Another source of variety in carriage driving is the many types of vehicles available. Whether antique or reproduced, the possibilities are endless. After going through many carriages I now have a Tidaholm practice cart, a WCC marathon vehicle and a Spyder Phaeton. Each has its own specific purpose and I’m pleased with all three. Each has its own type of dress—don’t ask me how many hats I have! The most important thing I have however is the world’s best groom, my husband Ian, who is indispensable. He chores, trailers, grooms, constructs dressage rings and obstacles and the like, polishes vehicles, helps hitch and usually drives with me. I just do the driving and clean the harness. I know - I’m spoiled! It’s great to be able to share in the enjoyment of a hobby. In an effort to give back to the sport we love we serve on the Board of Directors of our local driving club, the Eastern Ontario Pleasure Driving Society (EOPDS, www.eopds.ca/). This keeps us very busy with clinics, social drives and other events, two of which are held at our farm each year.


“To people thinking of getting into carriage driving, I would recommend it highly. Go into it with your eyes wide open however and know, like any horse discipline, it is not a cheap hobby. A word of cau- tion: get professional help to choose your horse or vehicle. Your safety could well hang in the balance. And this sport is somewhat addictive!”


Creekside Carriages


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