A Highlight of Newport Summer — A Weekend of Coaching

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Coaching demonstration at The Elms during Coaching Weekend in Newport, R.I.

The Breakers, the preeminent Gilded Age cottage, was alive with 550 people celebrating Coaching Weekend in Newport, R.I., at a dinner dance in honor of the Whips (coach drivers).

Guests of all ages enjoyed the beauty of the Great Hall during cocktails and dined on the terrace under an exquisitely decorated tent.  The decor incorporated several Gilded Age elements, including palm fronds and fruits in the table centerpieces, signs of affluence during that period. Guests danced to the music of Bob Hardwick’s orchestra in the Great Hall, where ballroom classics gave way to pop dance favorites.

Dancing in The Great Hall during Coaching Weekend Dinner Dance in Honor of the Whips at The Breakers.

The party raised funds for The Preservation Society of Newport County.

Newport welcomed nine coaches, which were driven around Aquidneck Island with stops and lunches at several historic cottages, both private and public.  Well over 1,000 people gathered on the lawn of The Elms Saturday to watch the demonstration of expert equestrian skills by the Whips. All enjoyed the wonderful pageantry of a past age with many people cheering along the routes as the coaches made their way through the town.  Sunday’s drive included a turn through The Breakers and concluded with a lovely lunch at Alva Vanderbilt’s Marble House.

Coaches arrive at Marble House.
Coaches arrive at The Breakers.
Coaching Weekend Newport (courtesy of Seaman Equusmaris Art).

Held every three years in Newport since 1968 – it was postponed last year because of the pandemic – Coaching Weekend is a cherished tradition which enables the community to appreciate the modern Sport of Coaching.  It is the highlight of the Newport Summer Season.

Andrew Bevan, Neva Little, Alyssa Hubbard, and Grayson Warrick.
Christina Kryca, Liz de Villegas, Arnoud de Villegas, Ryan Ouvaroff, and Leila Ray.
Co-chairs Daisy Prince, Leslie Ballard Hull, Pamela Owens, Beverly Little, and Neva Little (not pictured, Elaine Lindh).
L. to r.: Annie and Nick Pell; Anne and David Ford Jr.
George Clark, Elizabeth Leatherman, Bill Leatherman, Nancy von Auersperg, Tucker Johnson, and Elizabeth Clark.
Ghislain de Seze, Laetitia de Seze, Laure de Seze, and Amelie de Seze.
L. to r.: Ala and Ralph Isham; Charlotte and Tucker Johnson (President of the Coaching Club).
Jamie Freney, Carter Rose, Amanda Warren, Ally Grace, Oliver Nihan, and Antonia Chapman.
L. to r.: Hilary Dick and Todd Romano; David Thalmann and Dede Wilsey.
Leslie Ballard Hull, Mark Hull, with Whips Misdee Miller and James Miller.
L. to r.: Richie Santry, Alexa Santry, and Artie Santry; Jill Roosevelt and Mary Van Pelt.
Luke McDonough, Meredith Wood-Prince, and Patrick Wood-Prince.
L. to r.: Stephen Schwarzman, Christine Schwarzman, and Doug Braff; Katy and Elijah Duckworth-Schachter.
Meg Braff, Betsy Shiverick, Paul Shiverick, and Trudy Coxe.
Pamela and Brian Owens.

Photographs by John E. Corbett/Courtesy of The Preservation Society of Newport County & David Thalmann.

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