A BIG month is set to continue at Mayfield Garden.
Having held its annual AutumnFest food and music event last Saturday, the Oberon district tourist attraction is gearing up to host horses and carriages this Sunday for the Mayfield Garden Park Drive.
Mayfield’s Autumn Festival will also begin this Saturday and run until almost the end of the month.
While the events continue, the long-term future for the tourist attraction remains up in the air after the expansion of a nearby quarry – which was opposed by Mayfield owner Garrick Hawkins – was approved late last month.
The inaugural Mayfield Garden Park Drive this Sunday will feature a unique display of carriage driving involving horses and ponies put to harness with their elegantly presented carriages and drivers in all their finery.
Based on the British tradition of “coaching”, the park drive is a competition consisting of a brief workout where drivers are judged on their presentation (quality of their turnouts), driving skill and performance (pace and obedience of the horses).
This is followed by a short drive around a circuit which is usually conducted at a picturesque venue.
The display of equestrian elegance at Mayfield will be presented by the Ellmore Carriage Driving Club and will involve drivers from all over NSW.
It will feature four in hand teams (four horses or ponies in harness), tandems (two in line), pairs (two abreast) and singles (one horse or pony in harness).
Mayfield says spectators are welcome and the action will begin at 9am.
The park drive is being held during the Mayfield Garden Autumn Festival, which will run from this Saturday until Sunday, April 29.
Features that aren’t usually open to the public – including the traditional English maze, the “Chook Hilton” chook houses, chapel, 80-metre cascade and temple, and walled kitchen garden – will open during the Autumn Festival.
A courtesy bus will also drive around the perimeter.
Coffee, breakfast, burgers, cakes and pies will also be available.
Entry tickets can be pre-purchased at www.mayfieldgarden.com.au.
Mayfield is open from 9am to 4.30pm. Last garden entry is 3pm.