Nashoba Carriage Assoc.
By Andrew Pouncey
The Nashoba Carriage Association is dedicated to promoting the sport of carriage driving in an atmosphere of camaraderie and fun. The Association was founded in 1997 by a group of Memphis, Germantown, and Collierville horse enthusiasts who wanted to take their sport a step further. Several of the founders, including Lib Whitmore, Melissa Jones, Sonny and Mary Liz Foster, George and Jean Holmes, and Imogene Erb had already hitched up and were enjoying driving for pleasure. They wanted to start a group and learn the more competitive aspects of driving.
The Association derives its name from Frances Wright’s experimental colony named “Nashoba,” the Chickasaw Indian name for ‘wolf.’ In 1825, Miss Frances Wright, a social reformer from Dundee, Scotland, purchased 2,000 acres of land. Her concept was to educate and emancipate slaves. During World War 1, the town of Germantown temporarily changed its name to “Nashoba” in response to the anti-Germanic feelings of the citizens at that time.
Germantown has kept a tight rein on preserving its culture and history. Traditionally it has been horse country, and while moving forward with great progress, Germantown still maintains its small-town, image, and uniqueness of the past. The Nashoba Carriage Classic is an integral part of preserving the historic period of the horse and carriage in Germantown.
After visiting and competing in several pleasure-driving shows, the group decided to host its own show. The first Nashoba Carriage Classic appeared on the American Driving Society (ADS) calendar in the fall of 1999. The show was sanctioned by the ADS and drew competitors from five surrounding states. It has continued to grow and has become a favorite in the Southeast not only for its competition but also for its hospitality.
The first shows were held at historic Schilling Farms in Collierville. In 2003, the Nashoba Carriage Classic was moved to the Germantown Charity Horse Show Grounds,
In earlier years, the pleasure show was accompanied by an Arena Driving Trial (ADT) on Friday evening, and in 2016, they replaced the ADT with the Driving Derby. The Derby offers a display of skill of both horse and driver as teams maneuver through hazards for the best time and the cleanest round. They also added a sidesaddle division.
Held in the fall, the three-day show begins on Friday with the Driving Derby, continues on Saturday with the pleasure show and sidesaddle classes, and ends on Sunday with the Magnolia Drive & Ride, held in McFadden Woods adjacent to the show grounds. Visit their website at http://www.nashobacarriage.org for dates.
2021 Driving Derby Germantown Charity Horse Show
Nashoba’s members enjoy frequent clinics, pleasure drives, and dinner meetings, where camaraderie and fellowship are hallmarks. In the spring of 2009, they held their first Fun Show, which included games as well as showing classes to help participants learn the rules for combined driving events. Each spring, one of its members hosts a “Learning to Drive “clinic which is open to all skill levels.
Their 2009 clinics featured trainers Wiebe Dragsta, Sterling Grabum, and Tom O’Carroll. Many of their members participated in combined driving events across the nation, while others simply enjoyed the pleasure drives or local shows. The Germantown Charity Horse Show, held each year in June, is a major event for the club.
Having a horse is not a requirement for the Nashoba Carriage Association. A simple love for horses, driving, and fun is sufficient, and there are many ways to be involved and support the club activities even without a horse.