July 29, 2018
The 43rd Annual East Aurora
Carriage Drive & Competition
Chur Family Equestrian Center
Knox Farm State Park
East Aurora, New York
This one-day competition, now in its 43rd year, is held at the beautiful Knox Farm State Park in East Aurora, NY. The event provides spectators the opportunity to experience the sights and sounds of pleasure driving competition...to appreciate the beauty of the horses and ponies and the skill of the drivers... and for a few moments be transported back to “Gilded Age” of the late 19th century. Families welcome!
For the 2018 East Aurora Carriage Drive & Competition Prize List and Entry Form
Serving All Of Western New York And The Surrounding Areas
Please Note: Juniors MUST have a groom to participate in the Town and Country class.
THE CARRIAGES ARE COMING
Sunday, July 29th, 2018 , Chur Equestrian, Center, Knox Farm State Park
The 43rd Annual EAST AURORA CARRIAGE DRIVE & Competition to be held July 29th, 2018, is carrying on the tradition of the horse industry in East Aurora, NY as started by Cicero Hamlin when in 1855 he founded the Village Farm, located between Tannery Brook and Buffalo Road in Willink, now the village of East Aurora. The Big Barn as it was known, was two and a half stories and eight hundred feet long. It had over six-hundred boxed stalls and included a black smiths shop. His farm was ranked first in the world in the production and raising of fine trotters. The Village Farm was the home of the infamous Mambrino King, judged the most handsome horse in the world. Mr. Hamlin purchased him for $17,000 in 1882 and had him shipped to East Aurora by rail car. The farm holdings were disbursed in 1905.
Henry Jewett founded the Jewett Stock Farm in 1885, located on Jewett Holmwood & Grover Roads just outside the Village. The Jewett Stock Farm was best known for its mile long covered racetrack, designed to allow year-round training of their horses. In earlier years all horses had to be shipped south for training during the inclement weather. This was the only known mile long covered track ever built in the world.
The Ideal Stock Farm founded by S.H. Knox and Daniel Good endured the longest of the horse establishments in the area. It started as a breeding facility for trotting breds in 1905. The original horses were purchased at the disbursal sale of the Village Farm at Madison Square Garden. The racehorses however, were sold in 1916 as the younger Seymour Knox turned his attention to Polo. Polo Matches are still played on the Knox Polo Field, which is now part of the Knox Farm State Park. All three farms were trotting bred nurseries. The Ideal Stock Farm, later known as the Ess Kay Farm was sold to the State of New York in 2000, and slated for use as an equestrian park and open space preserve. As a State Park, numerous other activities, i.e. the Autobon Society, the dog park, Polo Games, soccer games, races, are also very much in evidence at the Park. The Neil & Barbara Family Equestrian Center, a 9.5 acre facility was opened in 2006 at the park with a generous donation from the Chur Family.
The Neil & Barbara Chur Family Equestrian Center., has two large show rings, a pond that includes a water-splash obstacle, a covered bridge obstacle, and parking areas for exhibitors and spectators. This year’s competition is open to horses and ponies of all breeds, driven in pleasure harness, put to to carts and carriages, both antique and reproductions. There will be a full compliment of classes for singles, and multiples of horses, ponies and very small equine to test the driver’s skills and the horse’s competence in obedience and deportment. . To encourage new drivers to the sport, there are separate divisions for the Junior exhibitors. New this year, the ‘Town and Country Course’, which includes a variety of interesting obstacles will challenge the exhibitors and their equine friends.
Racing Day, as the village observance has been dubbed, was initiated in 1976 as part of East Aurora’s sesqua-centennial celebration. We encourage everyone to come, sit ringside, in the shade of the hospitality tent, and enjoy the show, Sunday, July 29th, 9:00-5:00. FREE to the Public.