Sleigh Rides In the Kingdom

NORTHEAST KINGDOM-"This is something that they are looking to get outside and do. It's tough right now to find any kind of activity you can go out and do with your family. So it's nice to come outside, get some fresh air, let the kids run around," family friend Josh Webber said. Visiting The Kingdom's Horse Drawn Wagon and Sleigh Rides in Brownington Vermont.

Jeff Simpson has owned horses all his life, getting his start with his father in horse pulling competitions. After he got out of school in the 80s, he started a small derry but still always had the horses. He got into doing the carriage and sleigh rides at the Wildflower Inn on Darling Hill Road. "Kept the horses there, doing rides for the guests and other people. Weddings, even did weddings back then," Simpson explained.

He decided he wanted to pursue the business more seriously, so in the last six years he has been renting some farmland. He uses the trails on the land to pull guests in a wooden sleigh he built himself, and a brand new carriage for other special events. "So it's been really good in the last five years, repeat business, weddings. We have a carriage now, I am not here doing rides because it's Christmas Eve. If you want to do one on a Monday night, we try to accommodate what anybody wants."

Simpson has an open schedule, and everything is done by appointment. Simpson has his family friend, Josh Webber help him with booking appointments. Webber has developed a facebook page for Simpson, and deals with all the advertising for the business. "I help Jeff with the marketing portion of things here. The Kingdom rides, I do the Facebook posting, I come up and take pictures for him. I also help respond to emails and messages on Facebook," Webber explained.

The sleigh rides can be booked from two groups of people a day, to nine groups of people, coming all at separate times. Each ride is booked within an hour of each other, the rides lasting about 30 minutes. Usually costing 15 dollars a person, while kids are half price. They also recently just started charging for a private ride price, up to six people, for one twenty five.

Simpson also hosts birthday parties, school field trips, prom nights, and holiday weekends. His open schedule ranging day and night, meeting all kinds of different people. People come from all over Vermont to enjoy the experience, "we had a gentleman come from Chester Vermont. He drove two hours just to come up, he's a retired vet and his wife had never been on a ride," Simpson explained.

Simpson shares that there are probably other businesses closer to home for some people. But the rides have been able to continue a five star rating. The feeling when people come visit the farm is warm and inviting. The rides are filled with conversation and laughter. His favorite part about the job is the people he meets each ride. "Families bring their kids, I'm not going to tell all my secrets. Like I've said, I've had horses for fifty years, so it's fun to hear the old timers that come. Hearing their stories, along with the few I can share," Simpson humbly says.