Not too far from western New York's racing scene at Batavia Downs and Buffalo Raceway, the Northampton Driving Society held its thirtieth annual driving show on June 5, 2016 at Northampton Park. The entries ranged from “VSE's” (Very Small Equines, or “minis”) to a pair of spotted drafts, and included a couple of Standardbreds who made their mark!
Maureen Romeo made her debut in the show ring with Glen B (Cambest-No Matter), capturing second place in novice timed obstacles and coming back to win novice Gambler's Choice, which involved negotiating strategically placed traffic cones, stopping and opening a mailbox, driving a cloverleaf, backing up, and strategizing the selection of obstacles based on the various point values attached to them.
Glen B, an exceptionally handsome grey gelding and winner of $163,625 lifetime, was shown by Maureen's husband, Clark Romeo at the NDS show in 2015, placing third in novice Gambler's Choice. Remarkably, a couple months later, he qualified and made his last lifetime start at Batavia Downs! Glen B is also used as a riding horse by the Romeo family. Within six months of leaving trainer Ron Stebbin's competitive racing stable, Glen B was under saddle and climbing hills, crossing bridges and fording creeks on the popular Otter Creek trail system in the southern Adirondack Mountains with calm confidence and even a sense of direction!
Dave Driscoll drove his eight-year old Standardbred mare Rue, also known as Dear Prudence (CR Excalibur-Chip Dream), to win the Single Working Horse class, and was awarded “Best Single Horse Pleasure Turnout” of the entire show, evincing the suitability of his horse, cart and accouterments for a satisfying pleasure drive. Rue was acquired by Dave Driscoll in January 2015 from Bob and Lannette Krikorian, who race at Monticello. Dave's father, the late Hi Driscoll, raised, trained and raced Standardbreds from his dairy farm near Ithaca, New York, so Dave is no stranger to the breed. Pleasure driving and competition are a serious hobby for Dave Driscoll, and despite the popularity of other breeds in this sport, he did not discount the possibility of acquiring a Standardbred. Sure enough, after looking at about fifteen horses, Rue made the cut and Dave is not disappointed. "She's a dream to work with on the ground, but gets seriously down to business when she goes in the ring," Dave said. The Northampton show is only her second; in her debut, she received first place in dressage and third in timed obstacles.