East Aurora Driving Society, Inc. (EADS) was founded in 1979 to educate drivers of horse-drawn vehicles and the community to promote, support, preserve and protect interest in driving horses, and the collection, preservation and restoration of antique horse-drawn vehicles.
EADS provideseducational opportunities through clinics, demonstrations, lectures, escorted pleasure drives, annualcompetition and driving-related resources for instruction, training, and equipment. It also works with the community to educate the public about safe practices around horses, and horse-drawn vehicles, and to preserve public access for horseback riding and pleasure driving. EADS is a resource for anyone interested in learning to drive: We can help you find a trainer or driving instructor, and suggest sources for carts, carriages and harness for every budget. We can also provide a list of resources for the restoration or repair of antique vehicles. For drivers of any level, the friendly support of other carriage driving members can be the most valuable resource of all.
EADS supports community education & service by:
Donation of funds to the Town of Aurora toward the maintenance of the equestrian center.
Donation of educational signs to increase public safety and public awareness of safe practices around horses.
Donation of Yield-to-Horses signs on Knox Park Trails.
Volunteering to maintain the Knox Farm State Park equestrian trails.
Working to preserve the rich equestrian history of East Aurora.
Membership in the driving society is open to anyone interested in advancing the “art and sport of pleasure driving.” Most of our members drive for pleasure, some participate in competition, and others do not currently drive at all, but enjoy participating in activities, or volunteering at the annual competition or community service projects. Juniors can join in all of the club’s activities. Members of the East Aurora Driving Society come from all walks of life; what they all share is a love of horses and driving! Join us!
A little East Aurora history ....
In the late 19th century, East Aurora was known as the world’s "trotting nursery" for the large Standardbred breeding farms of the Hamlin, Jewett and Knox families, and and the world's only mile long indoor training track. It was also home to Cicero Hamlin’s “Mambrino King”, who was judged to be the “The World's Most Handsomest Horse!".This was also a time when it was not uncommon for village drivers to challenge one another to a spirited race down Main Street, while spectators cheered and waged bets on the action!
It was East Aurora’s equestrian activities that first attracted Roycroft founder, Elbert Hubbard to the village, where he soon founded his community of craftsman and artisans. In the 1920's, 30's and 40's the Knox family farm was the anchor for "The East Aurora Hunt Club" " and Polo Stable.
In 1976, " Racing Days" was founded as a community-wide celebration of the area's equestrian history. Each July, the two-day event brought thousands of visitors from across New York State and Canada, who lined village streets to see sulky races, polo matches, and the Parade of Carriages and pleasure driving competition.
Today the popular celebration is called " Heritage Days & Reunion Weekend", and because sulky races and polo matches are not currently a feature, The Annual Carriage Drive & Competition is the only remaining public demonstration of East Aurora's significant equestrian history. For 39 years it has provided the public the rare opportunity to view horses and carriages in a beautiful pastoral setting - as they might have been seen in the " Gilded Age" of the late 19th century.
January- Project Update: The progress of the "Fence Project" - a very worthwhile community safety project and our thanks to the project volunteers and donors (see Fence Project -Tab at Left)
Get a FREE Equestrian Permit to ride or drive at Knox Park! ( Membership -Tab at left)
The 2014 Competition is July 26 &27 - Details soon on the 2014 Competition page.
Content copyright . East Aurora Driving Society. All rights reserved.