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July 14-16: The Lorenzo Driving Competition celebrates its 45th Anniversary!

The great lawn of the Lorenzo State Historic Site -- once the home of Cazenovia’s founder – is the setting for the competition, and elegant horses and polished carriages invite spectators to travel back to a time when road trips required four hooves and a whip. It’s the only horse show of its kind in Central New York and everyone is invited! Both the show and parking are free, and the festive atmosphere includes food trucks; a Kid’s Korral with crafts and activities; a vendors tent filled with pop-up shops; and a silent auction with fabulous finds.

Make time to explore Lorenzo’s formal gardens and Dark Aisle Arboretum and look for the tree planted in honor of a visit by President Grover Cleveland. The mansion will be open for tours, then trot over to the restored 19th century stable and be charmed by the antique carriage collection that provides a link between the driving competition and Lorenzo’s rich equestrian history. “The sport of carriage driving demonstrates the main form of transportation from the time that Lorenzo was built and throughout much of its history,” said Historic Site Regional Supervisor Michael Roets. “It is our pleasure to have a weekend of horses and carriages moving across the landscape as they bring the history of the site alive for our visitors.” The show starts Friday, July 14, with obstacle classes, driven dressage and a Timed Country Drive. A Picnic Class closes the day, showcasing competitors’ reinsmanship and their ability to set a festive table complete with homemade goodies for the judge to sample. After a full day of horse showing, at 5 p.m. it’s time for Hats Off to Lorenzo! with drinks and hors d’oeuvres on the lawn and a hat contest worthy of British royalty judged by WSTM-TV anchor and reporter Brandon Roth. Tickets are $10 at the door and include a souvenir glass with free refills. Complimentary horse-drawn carriage rides by Lamplit Farms will take guests around the Lorenzo grounds and the mansion will be open until 7 p.m. for free tours. Saturday, enjoy classes showcasing the grace and skill of carriage driving. Don’t miss the Carriage Dog class, a fan favorite with some of the best-behaved (and cutest) pooches around. Another highlight is the Drive & Ride class, which is exactly what it sounds like: Horses are hitched and driven in the first portion of the event and then, after lunch, they are ridden and judged under saddle. Sunday morning, horse and driver are out and about as the Pleasure Drive-Pace takes them through the Cazenovia countryside. The challenge is to arrive at the finish as close to the ideal time as possible. The reward is a mimosa at the finish line. Classes resume in the Main Ring after lunch and continue through the afternoon with ample time to enjoy the show, the grounds and the chance to slow down and step back in time. It’s Lorenzo’s Sapphire Jubilee and it promises to be a weekend of fun for the entire family. Don’t miss it!

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