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At Lorenzo, return to an era when driving meant four hooves and a whip
Leave the equines at home and step back into a time when horsepower required actual horses and four horsepower meant the owner was really living large.
Overlooking Cazenovia Lake, the Lorenzo State Historic Site offers a unique glimpse into the luxurious and idyllic life of five generations of the Lincklaen/Ledyard family. The centerpiece is a neoclassical mansion built in 1807 for Col. John Lincklaen, founder of the village of Cazenovia. His heirs lived there until 1968, when the
property – including all of the family’s
furnishings, art and personal possessions –
was granted to the state.
Visitors can enjoy guided tours of the
mansion, linger among the perennials
in the formal garden, and wander the
double row of white pine, hemlock and
Norway spruce known as the Dark Aisle
Arboretum. (And you should!) But for
the horsey set, the jewel of Lorenzo is
tucked behind the mansion in the restored 1892 carriage house.
Look up when you come inside. The nameplates suspended from the ceiling – Sultana, Diana, Waterloo, Prince, Fred and Logan – are real and once graced the stall doors of Lorenzo’s horses.
Walk through a small museum and the back of the building, with its Oakman Carriage Collection, is what you’ve come to see. It’s the gift of Anna Oakman, great-great-niece of John Lincklaen, who despaired at seeing the horse-drawn era destroyed. Determined to save the remnants, she visited local summer estates and assembled a charming collection of vehicles, harnesses and accessories, which she donated to Lorenzo in 1970.
Among the gems: an 1821 Curtain Quarter Coach – a refinement of the coachee used by wealthy families – originally owned by John Lincklaen; a 1905 child’s pony buckboard; an 1870s Victoria, a park vehicle used by elegant ladies for afternoon drives; and an 1890 Stanhope Phaeton, a gentleman’s town vehicle, which was driven in formal turnout, including liveried grooms
If you weren’t looking for it, you’d miss: Among the many treasures of the mansion grounds are stone watering troughs, a utilitarian reminder of the site’s equestrian past. Stroll to the back of the formal garden to find a trough inscribed LL –
for Ledyard Lincklaen, one of the earliest
residents of Lorenzo – and the date 1862.
Nerd alert, unsolved mystery edition: Why
is the estate named Lorenzo when the
families who lived there were named
Lincklaen and Ledyard and had no ties to Italy?
No one really knows.
Haunted history: The ghost of John
Lincklaen and some of his household are said
to materialize as stately gentlemen, servants, or lights that come on and go off when no one is in the building.
Hours: The grounds, including the formal garden and Dark Aisle are open year-round, dawn to dusk. Guided tours of the mansion are available Wednesday- Sunday, and Monday holidays. The site closes for the season on Oct. 9, but is open again in December for special holiday hours.
Admission: There is no charge to tour the grounds and carriage house. Tours of the mansion are $5 for adults and $4 for seniors and students. Children 12 and under are free.
Central New York
Stories. Advice. Horseplay.
NEW YORK HORSE
Promoting Dressage and
Combined Training as Art and Sport
Promoting Reining in the Northeast
by LA Pomeroy
Our Oxford English Dictionary defines the cutting edge as a 'dynamic, invigorating or incisive factor or quality.' First coined in the 1800's
in reference to knife quality, the
description has morphed into implying
the ability to slice through a status quo to
get to the forefront.
In equestrian tradition, good
sportsmanship is integral to good
horsemanship. So aspiring to gain an
edge in a sport dependent on the trust
of our four-legged partners is best sought
– says two of collegiate riding’s most
successful coaches – not by cutting the
competition down, but by raising personal
“Over the years, my definition of the
competitive edge has evolved,” says
St. Lawrence University hunt seat coach
Mary Drueding. “It started out that
I believed it meant drilling exercises, heels
down and work harder, etc. But to maintain a long career I've learned you have to invest as much or more mentally.”
Believes her longtime rival, Skidmore College coach Cindy Ford: “A competitive edge is what you instill in riders. It's
One goal. Two top coaches.
Two definitions of what
constitutes a competitive
edge, how to find it and
how to nurture it.
Between them, Drueding
and Ford have won eight
national titles. (Altogether
their two schools own 11
of the IHSA’s 49 national
championships.) In 2013,
they achieved what had
only been seen twice before in a half-century of college coaching: a tie for the National Collegiate Cup team title.
What do they have to say to coaches who aspire to the best for their riders – whether their stage is a 4-H show ring or a national Congress? Be fair. Be consistent. Demand quality. Inspire respect.
Drueding rode for Colby-Sawyer College as a student and became its assistant coach before moving to St. Lawrence in 1995. She was recognized with an IHSA Lifetime Achievement Award in 2012, the same year she became the first hunt seat coach in history to win Collegiate Cups with two different teams.
To coaches, Drueding says: “Be clear, straightforward. Don't change the rules for one rider. Always coach for the good of the team over the lure of one powerhouse.”
"To put a team together, you'll have kids with natural talent and ambition and those just learning the sport … So to compete as a team, I need everyone to know where they stand. Structure is essential. When a season starts, I outline mandatory attendance and practices, and the ramifications for failing to meet them. Stand behind the kids who step up for you. Create the atmosphere where one rider in the ring feels the support of their team ringside.”
Ford, who became head coach at Skidmore
in 1990, says confidence and strong
leadership is a key component to any
successful team. She recalled her 2005
team captain, who went off-course
during zone competition but went on to
win the Cacchione Cup at the IHSA
championship, becoming the top Open
hunt seat rider in the nation that year.
"A lesser rider could have been consumed
with guilt and brought the team down ...
She pulled her team up,” says Ford, who
received the IHSA lifetime achievement
award in 2011. “That's competitive edge.”
Agrees Drueding: “A coach can't pull a
team along. It has to be backed up by its
riders, by peers who will say, 'Let's do the
extra practice, let's go to the fitness room.'
“It's interesting to see how some students
learn something from everyone while others
take longer to trust what they're being coached,” she adds. “Some come as great riders. Many come without basics. Nine out of ten Walk-Trot riders have never sat on a horse before the team. Making those riders is what makes a team come together.”
Identifying attitude is as important as identifying talent for Drueding, who says, “If a student doesn't make the team one year it may not be 'their time' yet. But if they don't come back next season and try out again, if they just give up and walk away, then they probably weren't right for the team.”
And finally, it all comes down to this for both coaches: No competitive edge is keener than respect. “It's hard,” Drueding says, “but if you stick to what you believe, at any cost, you'll always be respected for that and people will rise up for you.”