American Driving Society's
   Picnic Class
     The paraphrased rule says that for this class a picnic appropriate to the turnout must be carried on the vehicle and the class has two sections: a performance section, counting 25%, and judged on performance  manners, and overall impression, and a staging section, counting 75%, and judged on the quality of the picnic presentation.
     I have been mesmorized by the picnic class ever since I saw my first picnic class at Walnut Hill years ago. I immediately launched a hunt for an antique wicker carriage that would fit my Friesian mare, and quickly learned that most of the ladies wicker carriages were made for much smaller horses and were very expensive. Frustrated as I began my 3rd year of searching, in exhasperation I posted an  "I am looking for a ...." in the CD-L and within 30 minutes received a reply, "I don't have one for sale, but my friend does." I was elated, and within a few months of that email, Thomas and I made a 2015 trip between February snow storms to NY and came home with a 1910 Moyer Ladies Wicker Phaeton and a matching hat! Its shafts were too short for Sjaantje, so off to Carriage Machine Shop I went and  ordered a set that would fit. Because it was burgundy, I had no matching aprons, so off to Martin's Carriage Auction to see DD Rapps to order a set.
     Finally in 2016, I was ready to enter my first picnic class, and came home with the blue ribbon from the Grand Oaks Pleasure Show (Full disclosure--I was the only entry.) Later in the 2016 show year, I placed 3rd place at Walnut Hill and couldn't be more proud of that
ribbon, but I wanted to win! So off to Jon Zimmerman to have him replace the burgundy parasol liner with a Bedford gray that would match the carriage seat.
     When we went to the 2017 CAA Carriage Festival in Lexington, KY, I had the new parasol, but alas, the wicker classes were inside the Coliseum, so using a parasol was not really appropriate. Explaining my situation to show management, I was allowed to add the parasol to my turnout. Can you imagine the irony when I saw the photos of those classes that the underside of the parasol appeared burgundy? Happy to win those rail classes, but came in second for the picnic judging, not even coming close to winning, as Susie Haszelbart's staging was superb. After reading John Greenalls' ADS Whip article that pictured an exquisite wicker carriage with a cylindrical picnic basket, I decided I needed to have a picnic basket attached to the back of my carriage. So off to Bird-in Hand to have one made, but had to compromise on its shape, and grew to dislike it, so off to Double E Carriages to have what I originally wanted made: a
cylindrical picnic basket.
     I never quite know what to serve for the picnic, so sometimes I make it simple, other times cool and refreshing, sometimes I include wine, but always try to have items that pack and travel well, and were around in the 1910s. This is the most important part of the class and I have yet to master it, but rest assured, I will keep trying!
     I am so appreciative of  my friends who volunteer to ride along with me--that is one of my favorite things about this class--sharing the fun.

My three 2019 Picnic Classes

Lorenzo 2019

Jane and I often team up for this class

Orleton Farm 2019
Blue Ribbon!!  Kirstin is a blue ribbon magnet!

Morven Park 2019
Diane entered her first Picnic class

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Created by Gail L. Aumiller on February 23,  2020 and last updated on February 23,  2020.