Well-known for carrying the grand marshal in the annual Watkinsville Christmas Parade, the Bishop-based Classic City Clydesdales is expanding its tour options to include carriage rides, according to Shannon Martin, who owns the farm with her husband, Mark.

The farm is partnering with Butcher & Vine to offer carriage rides complete with a catered picnic basket, champagne and a butcher board. 

Couples will be romantically ferried to a picturesque pond to enjoy their meal. The carriage rides will last roughly an hour, including the meal. The cost is $225. Registration is limited, so those interested should call the farm at (706) 424-1889. 

Since 2016, Classic City Clydesdales has hosted tours to showcase its horses and a variety of other animals. Winter tour times are on Saturdays starting at 11 a.m. 

“We hook up the tractor to the hay wagon and take them [patrons] out to the petting zoo,” Shannon said. “We take them out to the pastures, and we introduce them to the horses. They can take photos and give treats.”

Adult entry costs $20, while entry for children under 12 costs $12, and no registration is required. 

Classic City Clydesdales has also recently started offering trail rides. People of all ages and ability levels can participate in the trail rides, which take place along the six miles of trails within the farm.

“If we have somebody that comes in and doesn’t necessarily know horses or been around horses, we put a lead right on them and walk them through the trails,” Shannon said. 

Trail rides are available by appointment only and cost $75 per person. Groups of up to five people can be accommodated with a guide. 

Shannon said that although she and her husband enjoy sharing the horses with the public, their farm encompasses a breeding program first.

She explained that this is important because Clydesdales are currently a breed with threatened status. 

“These are a horse breed that is teetering on that fine line between threatened and endangered [species],” she said, “so if we don’t promote them and let people experience them, we’ll lose them.” 

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