by Louisa Emerick with photos provided by HoofPrintImages.com
The Elk Creek Combined Driving Event celebrated its 15th year anniversary of competition at Fair Hill Natural Resource Management Area on June 1-2. Competitors from came from as far north as Massachusetts and as far west as Ohio to Fair Hill to support the only American Driving Society’s only recognized CDE in Maryland. Fair Hill is known for its exceptional facilities and terrain for a number of equestrian events, including making it a prime spot for Combined Driving.
Each year, many familiar faces return to Elk Creek, along with new drivers who take advantage of the low key atmosphere and solid organization. Lisa Singer, with co-organizer Diane Trefry, and their many volunteers, have decades of experience in this sport. Susie Tadlock marked her 15th year with Elk Creek having started in 2004 when the event began as a “no frills” competition. At the time, she navigated for her father Chandler Irwin and then went on to drive one of her father’s Connemara crosses. Now she helps groom, navigates from the back step and helps to train her daughter’s young horse. Even with all of that, Susie still finds time to volunteer!