Top Lady

 Posted by on September 16, 2016  Add comments
Sep 162016
 
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We’d heard from our gardener that there was a horse and carriage event being run in the roads near our village, Stanford Dingley, so set off for the walk to a farm just a few miles away where they were stopping for refreshments.
Our first encounter was with a team that was running a little late. They trotted up to a t-intersection as we did [from another direction] and the humans on-board called out to ask if there were cars coming from our way. A disadvantage of many small roads here is that they’re tucked down between hedgerows, and even perched upon a carriage does not necessarily give you the required forewarning of what your team of horses is about to encounter.
Half an hour later we were happily sipping our free glasses of wine – courtesy of the farming hosts – as the first teams completed their circuit of the local villages and made their way up the long tree-lined driveway to the turning area in front of the grand home of our hosts. Over the next hour 15-20 teams of horses with their carriages and suitably dressed occupants rolled in, enjoyed their refreshments, happily posed for photographs, and then left on the next stage of their outing.
I spoke to several. Most of the drivers were English, but many of their team, like this young woman, were eastern European. There was no doubt that this is an expensive past-time, with staff involved. The carriages had taken a week to prepare. The grooms and horses had been up and about since 5am, and would have a very long day. There were many bowler hats, top hats, and ladies in broad-brimmed hats festooned with ribbons and flowers. The horses were absolutely beautiful and the carriages a work of art.
All-in-all an experience to be treasured.

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  3 Responses to “Top Lady”

  1. Pomp and ceremony with top hats and tails is really something the English know how to do.

    The young woman’s eye lashes look just the same as the tufts of wear on the top hat brim and that made me smile…

    • I think her false lashes had been misbehaving – she would have applied them before 5 in the morning and by late morning they’d had a long, rugged day already! I think the hat’s had a very long life – in its young days it must have attended some pretty amazing events.

  2. Yes to what Ian said.

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