The “Four-in-Hand Club” enjoys the pleasures of Wethersfield and environs

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Gathering of the coaches before taking off through the countryside.

It all started in the 18th Century when British gentlemen admired the expertise of the commercial coachman’s ability to drive enormous horses pulling the Royal Mail and passenger coaches.  In true Brit fashion, they decided to “Give it a Go” initiating what has come through the past two and a half centuries as Four-in-Hand driving.

These pages illustrate the beauty of the horses and their elegant drivers (known as “Whips”) who came last weekend en masse to Wethersfield, the estate of the late Chauncey Stillman whose own favorite sport was driving his over 20 “park drag” coaches through the many groomed trails on his beautiful farm.

Charles Kashner inspecting the coaches in situ.

The “Four-in-Hand Club” whose over 100 members range across the United States came to socialize, drive and enjoy the pleasures of Wethersfield and environs.  Preparations included building their own temporary stables and hospitality tent plus organizing food and drink.  They were hosted by Friends of Wethersfield, a conservation organization created by Theodora Budnik, daughter of Mr. Stillman, as well as his granddaughter, Tara Shafer, and Barbara and Donald Tober.  Coaching experts Paul Fournier, Sem and Pauwla Groenewoud organized the entire event.

Pauwla and Sem Groenewoud.
Claire Reid and Fernanda Kellogg.
Raymond Tuckwiller, Lynn Tuckwiller, Sharon Butterfield, and Timothy Butterfield.
Barbara and Donald Tober.
Karen Klopp, John Klopp, Bill Richards, and Daphne Richards.
April Gow, Barbara Tober, Donald Tober, Roddy Gow, Russell Grant, and Lindsay Grant.
Frances and Wayne Baker ready to take off.
Two perfectly matched Morgans in harness.
Claire Reid’s ponys and Herbert Kohler’s “cross country” coach.
Harvey and son Harley Waller in step.
Andrew Fieo and Bob Longstaff discuss a problem.
Herbert Kohler, Jamie O’Rourke, Don Stewart and their grooms
Allan Tucci and Renee Dubyk looking smart.
John White is the “Whip”
Jamie O’Rourke in charge…
Timothy and Sharon Butterfield coming down the road.
Jim Webster, Karen Kelly and Sem Groenewoud aboard.
John P. White with his white team.
The Millbrook Hunt arrives for “Breakfast.”
The Millbrook Hunt Hounds.
Kirk Henckels and Fernanda Kellogg.
L. to r.: Bill Richards; John Klopp.
Feliz Saavedra Perez and Paul Fournier.
Members of the Millbrook Hunt astride.
Spectators of the scene.
Tara Kelly, Barbara and Donald Tober welcome the drivers.
After the drive, Gemma White, John White, Donald Tober, Claire Reid and Jacqueline L. Ohrstrom.
Charles Kashner, with Timothy and Sharon Butterfield.
Karen Kelly, Donald Tober, Barbara Tober, Claire Reid, and Jim Webster.
Bert Brans, Efrain Garcia, Geoff Ryder, Gary Lergner, Brice Stine, and Hannah Polson.
Harley Waller, Harvey Waller, Gary Montsdeoca, and Gary Wasserman.
David Sloan, Gary Wasserman, Cat Gentry, and Charles Kashner.
Jamie O’Rourke, Theodora Stillman Budnik, Herbert Kohler.
Butterfield table.
Webster table.
A good time is had by all in the Carriage House at Wethersfield.

Photographs by Annie Watt (Four-in-Hand)

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