Coaching Weekend - Friday, August 19 - Sunday, August 21, 2022
A Weekend of Coaching returns to Newport with coaching drives each day, an exhibition on the grounds at The Elms and a dinner dance in honor of the Whips at The Breakers. In addition, the public can enjoy free viewing of the colorful and historic coaches every day, as they drive through the streets of Newport and the grounds of the Newport Mansions, celebrating and preserving a century-old sporting tradition. Authentic 19th-century coaches drawn by matched and highly-trained teams of horses visit Newport every three years for a Weekend of Coaching, hosted by The Preservation Society of Newport County.
The Elms Driving Exhibit - Saturday, August 20, 2022
The public is welcome to this free driving exhibition on the grounds of The Elms, beginning at approximately 10:30 a.m. This is an opportunity to get a close up, extended look at each of the teams, and to hear details about the horses and the history of each coach as their whips guide them around the back lawn.
Note: Dogs are not permitted on the grounds, except for certified service animals. There will be no parking at The Elms during the exhibition.
Coaching Weekend Dinner Dance in Honor of the Whips - Saturday, August 20, 2022
The Breakers – 7 pm – 12 am
Enjoy cocktails, dinner and dancing in Newport’s grandest Gilded Age Mansion. Music provided by Bob Hardwick Sound. This is a Black Tie evening.
- Reservations currently available for Benefactor and Patron level purchases only.
- Reservations for Preservation Society Members at all ticket levels will be available in early May 2022.
• Benefactor Tables $25,000 table of 10 guests • Benefactor Tickets $2,500 per person
• Patron Tables $15,000 table of 10 guests • Patron Tickets $1,500 per person
• Standard Tables $7,500 table for 10 guests • Standard Tickets $750 per person
Contact the Special Events Office events@NewportMansions.org with questions or to inquire about reservations for the Coaching Weekend Dinner Dance.
History of Coaching
The tradition of coaching grew out of the 18th and 19th century mail runs in England, which later made their way across the Atlantic to the United States. The horse-drawn mail coaches were eventually replaced by railroads, but nostalgia led to the development of coaching as a sport. The Coaching Club of New York was formed in the latter part of the 19th century, eventually becoming part of the social fabric of Newport in the summer. The Wetmores, the Bells, the Vanderbilts and the Belmonts were all active members, bringing their coaches together to go to the races, the polo games, and the Casino.
The two types of open-air vehicles used in the sport of coaching—a Road Coach and the slightly smaller Park Drag—employ a team of four horses. All seating is outside, with the driver, known as a "whip," sitting in the slightly elevated right front seat, and the whip’s wife or female relative taking up the “box seat” on the left. The rear bench of the coach holds at least two specialized footmen called grooms. Two center benches can hold up to 10 passengers.