EQUINE EL­E­GANCE New­port’s Weekend of Coach­ing evokes thoughts of Gilded Age

Palm Beach Daily News - - OPINION -

NEW­PORT, R.I. — There still are a few peo­ple out there who be­lieve the rich are like ev­ery­body else.

None of them lives in Palm Beach.

Nor, we’re guess­ing, have they ever been to the Weekend of Coach­ing, a tri­en­nial event of the Preser­va­tion So­ci­ety of New­port County in con­junc­tion with the Coach­ing Club of Amer­ica, an or­ga­ni­za­tion com­mit­ted to pre­serv­ing the horses-and-car­riage trans­porta­tion mode of the Gilded Age.

Not ex­actly the cheap­est of thrills, that. They should change the name to the Cha-ching Club of Amer­ica.

The gath­er­ing took place

Aug. 16 to 19 in New­port, where the ar­chi­tec­tural and hor­ti­cul­tural his­tory of the Gilded Age re­mains in­tact, thanks pri­mar­ily to the ef­forts of the Preser­va­tion So­ci­ety.

The weekend in­cluded daily coach­ing pa­rades through­out the city; an ex­hibit of the ex­quis­ite car­riages and gleam­ing horse­flesh; and pri­vate re­cep­tions, lun­cheons and din­ners.

The high­light was a black­tie din­ner dance hon­or­ing the “whips” — the driv­ers (usu­ally own­ers) of the car­riages. It took place Aug. 18 at The Break­ers, the sum­mer cot­tage built by rail­road ty­coon and apoc­ryphal in­ven­tor of the po­tato chip Cor­nelius Van­der­bilt.

Pamela Ford, Elaine Lindh, Bev­erly Lit­tle, Pamela Owens, Daisy Prince and Mary Van Pelt were chair­women for the evening, which in­cluded cock­tails on the ter­race and din­ner and danc­ing to the mu­sic of Bob Hard­wick un­der a huge tent on the ocean­side lawn.

More than 500 peo­ple at­tended.

Martha Hun­newell, Mar­jorie Spencer, Jane Smith, John An­dreu and Ruth Buchanan

Park Leather­man and Will Leather­man

Jane and Peter Ele­bash

David Ford and Anne Man­ice

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