Walnut Hill Farm Driving Competition
Once each year, during August, the picturesque Pittsford, NY countryside
comes alive with the magic and romance of an earlier era - a time when the
Horse and Carriage were elevated from a simple means of personal
conveyance to a portrait of their owner - a social commentary as to
profession, personal taste, and character. It was the last decade of the
19th century - The Gilded Age.
In an attempt to recapture the essence and spirit of the 1890's, the Pittsford Carriage Association annually hosts The Walnut Hill Carriage Driving Competition. This international celebration of the art and sport of traditional driving in held in a 19th century country fair setting on the commodious grounds of Walnut Hill Farm, located at 397 West Bloomfield Road in Pittsford, New York.
This living showcase of Americana presents a unique marriage in modern day equine sport, that of combining the pageantry and beauty of exquisitely turned out equipages with the excitement of demanding competition.
Our comprehensive five day schedule of classes offers spectators the opportunity to view a wide variety of 19th century carriages exhibited by over 250 competitors from some 20 states, Canada, and Europe. Antique vehicles from tiny pony carts to huge road coaches drawn by a four-in-hand (four horses) appointed with highly polished brass and silver harness will be participating in all phases of classical driving competition, including cross-country obstacle classes and the elegant pleasure driving classes in the ring.
And Walnut Hill is not complete without you. We hope you will join us either as a competitor or as a spectator! This gala event is truly special and you will not be disappointed.
If you find yourself with a question not answered below, please feel free to contact us for an answer.
Who sponsors the competition? The Pittsford Carriage Association, Inc., a not-for-profit educational organization, hosts this carriage competition of international significance for the purpose of advancing the art and traditions of driving and for the promotion of public interest in the contributions made by the horse and carriage to our country's cultural, social, and economic history.
When does the show take place? Wednesday through Sunday, August 10th-14th,2016. Performances daily from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Where is it held? It is held at the Walnut Hill Farm, 397 West Bloomfield Road, Pittsford, New York.
When is the Pleasure Drive? Where does it go?
The Sunday Morning Pleasure Drive through Mendon Ponds Park begins at 9 am. Carriages will leave Walnut Hill, head south down West Bloomfield Road. Carriages will then turn right on to Canfield Road and then left on Hopkins Point Road where all carriages will take a rest before heading back along the same route. All carriages are typically back at Walnut Hill by 11 am.
Why do we do it? - To give area residents and spectators the opportunity to see horse drawn carriages of all sizes from pony carts to road coaches on display and in competition. - To educate the public about the role and significance of the horse and carriage in America's history. - To provide carriage enthusiasts the opportunity to practice their art with the challenge of competition from accomplished drivers. - To establish a turn-of-the-century festive country fair atmosphere with Tent-housed Boutiques, English Gardens, Period Refreshments, and Special Exhibits as the stage for this living showcase of Victorian life in America.
How much does it cost for spectators? Tickets are available at the gate. General Admission is $12. Children under 12 are $6. On site parking is free. A spectator's guide is available.
What Hotel/Motels are in the Walnut Hill Area? There are many places to stay in the area. Please check the accommodations section of 'The Show' page.
Where can I get more information about carriage driving? For a start, check out the American Driving Society.
Where can I get a prize list and entry form? These items are now available on this site! Just go to the SHOW page and you will be able to download them.
Are the grounds wheel chair accessible?
The layout of our grounds do allow for wheelchairs and strollers to move about. We have a main track that is gravel and the remainder of the grounds are grass.
Is seating provided?
We have white folding chairs on the lawn for spectator use. You are also welcome to bring your own chairs if you wish.
Is there food available for purchase on the grounds?
We have a food vendor that offers the typical burger, hot dog or wrap for purchase. Spectators are more than welcome to bring their own snacks or lunch. NEW THIS YEAR! We will have Mellow Mug with us for coffee and an ice cream vendor as well!