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Irving Abb Memorial Trophy Awarded
Shirley Hovermale of Hagerstown was the first winner of the Irving Abb Memorial Trophy at the June 6 Judged Pleasure Ride sponsored by Trail Riders of Today (TROT). The ride was held in the McKeldin area of Patapsco Valley State Park.
Shirley and her Quarterhorse, Ho Bold Venture, posted the Grand Champion top score from among a record 81 horses competing in the ride. Each horse and rider team had to complete a 10-mile trail ride on which there were 12 test obstacles. Each horse was judged on how well it behaved at each test. This year horses encountered such things as a live lamb, spray bottles, strobe lights, and even a large toy shark floating in the North Branch.
Shirley's championship ride was especially remarkable since she suffered a serious injury just a few months prior. "This means so much to me as I thought last winter that maybe I wouldn't be able to ride again," she writes in a lovely thank you note to the ride organizers. "We have always enjoyed your rides and the good fellowship. Hope to continue riding with you all for a long time."
The Irving Abb Memorial Trophy was presented for the first time this year in memory of Irving Abb, well-known local horseman, who passed away in 1998. Mr. Abb was credited with establishing many of the trails throughout the Catoctins and introducing hundreds of budding riders to the joys of trail riding.
Mr. Abb enjoyed hosting rides from his home on the outskirts of Frederick into the Catoctin Mountains, opening and maintaining trails there as well as in the Sugarloaf Mountain area. He also served in the Catoctin Mountain Park as a volunteer for trail maintenance and as a member of the Horse Patrol, checking trails in the Park and along the boundaries of Camp David. During the Reagan presidency, Mr. Abb often volunteered his beloved horse, Jackson, for the use of the President and his guests.
The award was donated to TROT by the Central Maryland Saddle Club and other friends of Mr. Abb to be presented to the Grand Champion at the annual Judged Pleasure Ride. It will be passed along from year to year to succeeding Grand Champions as a perpetual memorial to Mr. Abb.
County Coordinator Comments
FREDERICK COUNTY COMMENTS
by Harriet West (301/874-3668 email@example.com)
Frederick County Bikeways and Trails Plan:
This is the most significant initiative that has developed in the nearly five years that I've been county coordinator. The plan is Frederick County's first attempt at identifying a countywide network of bikeways and trails. The draft plan identifies nearly 200 miles of potential new, multi-use or natural surface trails, many of which would be suitable for horseback riding, and 316 miles of on-street bikeways. The plan was developed by Frederick County Planning and Zoning staff with input from a broad-based Citizen Advisory Committee (CAC). TROT was represented on the CAC.
This plan is conceptual in nature and is a very important first step in a long-term process to enhance trails in Frederick County. The purpose of the plan is to: 1) identify potential trail corridors; 2) develop design standards; and 3) identify implementation strategies, including potential funding sources. Once the plan is approved, further study will be needed for each proposed trail corridor, including the identification of specific funding sources. The plan identifies a number of federal and state grant programs that could provide 50 to 80% of total project costs. The remaining local match can either be cash or in-kind contributions (e.g., volunteer hours or donated materials).
Eighteen new linear trail corridors are proposed, several of which link to other recreational areas in Frederick, Montgomery, Howard, and Carroll counties. Following is a summary of the proposed off-street trails:
The first of two public hearing was held before the Frederick County Planning Commission on June 16, 1999. Thanks to everyone who took the time to attend the hearing or submit written comments, the horse community was well represented. Approximately 50 people testified at the Planning Commission meeting and most of those who spoke supported the program. Some of the concerns voiced by those not in favor of the plan included property owner rights, costs for development and maintenance of trails, potential conflicts with sportsmen, and lack of compatibility with other types of existing zoning. In addition, the Planning Commission received a substantial number of written comments (letters and e-mail) described as being "four-inches thick."
At the conclusion of the public testimony, the Planning Commission voted to keep the written record open for another week (until June 23) and get input from the Frederick County Council of Governments, the elected officials from Frederick's municipalities. (Representatives from the Town of Walkersville have been very vocal in their opposition to the plan on the basis of projected cost and inconsistency with the Town's plans.) A workshop will be held in late July so Planning Commission members can discuss the plan and public input. The Planning Commission is expected to vote on the plan at their August meeting. Their recommendation will then be forwarded to the Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) and a final public hearing will be held later this year. Planning staff anticipates that the BOCC hearing will be held in October 1999.
I want to thank all the TROT members who took the time to attend the hearing, write letters and send e-mail, and pass along the information to other horse owners and groups. This level of networking and show of support is what it takes!
I will be sending out periodic updates (including the date of the BOCC's hearing) to those who live and/or ride in Frederick County. I'm trying to compile a list of e-mail address to make communicating quicker and easier. Please send me your e-mail address if you have one. My phone number and e-mail address are listed above. If you don't have e-mail, I'll send you the updates by regular mail. Harriet
TROT News Deadline for the September issue is: August 25
Reminder: TROT News is published every other month, (January, March, May, July, September, and November.) Change of address? Mail it to Tara Santmire, Membership Chairperson, at 8835 Winding Hollow Way, Springfield, VA 22152.
A Fly Update
I need to change some advice I previously gave on fly control. I have gone back to using plain ground lime stone mixed with water on the manure and have stopped using hydrated lime because I found out that hydrated lime can kill earth worms. The slight advantage I thought I had to by using hydrated lime isn't worth it if it kills earth worms. Worms are so important are aerating the soil, processing manure and compost, and building top soil.
Ground limestone works just fine. The key to being very successful is to start early enough in the season and to apply it regularly. Daily is best, but 3 times a week would give a noticeable result. This year
I started applying the lime earlier than last year and have had great results and very little problem with barefoot horses stamping their feet.
When worms eat compost and manure they produce an enriched, stable, organic material. Enriched means it is better for the soil, and therefore better for the grass, and therefore better for the horse. Stable means that the nutrients will not easily wash away in the next rain and are available for a longer period of time to the plant.
I hope everyone is having a great summer!
Carol Petree Iglehart
Judged Pleasure Ride BIG Success!
It was a record breaking year for the judged pleasure ride this year. We had 81 entrants! The weather was delightful and spirits were high. A fine sense of well being pervaded the day. The ride scores are on page 5.
The "Oldest Rider" prize goes to Carol Sanders. The "Youngest Rider" prize goes to Erin Kidd. There were three twelve-year-olds this year, so we had to go by birthdays. The "Oldest Horse" at the ride this year was "Solo" ridden by Jennifer LaDow. It was a young herd this year. "Solo" is only 24.
Congratulations to all the winners!!
The Judged Pleasure Ride works because so many people give their time and energy to making it happen. I'm sure you join me in thanking the judges who watched you ride by while they sat earthbound. The judges in order of appearance were: Carolyn Garber, Mary Prowell, Cindy Aldrich, Judy Brodbeck, Frank Dietz, Bill Mitchell, Dixie Stumpf, Angela Klinger, Linda Jean Brakmann, Laura Lane-Unsworth, Janet Breeding and Gale Monahan. They will all get vouchers for a free ride next year.
Pat Oliva was a great help this year rounding up scores on her speedy mount. In the pavilion we had Anne Bennof and Elsie Cote not only taking in entries but also compiling the information for the score keeper. Laura Guerra decided on the spur of the moment to come spend part of her day helping out, and attended the TROT merchandise. Melinda Gierisch and her friend Mike were score keeper and radio handler. Eleanor Pittenger helped out as go-fer and parking attendant as did Sharra Taylor. Sharra also decided on a whim to stop by and help if she could, and along with Laura, we thank her very much. Harriet West was everywhere helping out as needed. The challenging but safe course was designed by Kathy Dobson. She also rode out before the ride to make sure all was in readiness. And TROT president Gale Monahan made the award presentations. An extra special Thank You goes to Suzanne Anderson who took over the reins as ride manager when I had to leave for part of the day.** Her assignment for the day had been to sit in the woods and judge an obstacle. I know she had been looking forward to it. Instead she not only had to get the ride going (a daunting but well performed task) she then was drag rider. Thank You all for pulling together once again to get the ride on the road.
Jean Siewert, Ride Manager
**from Suzanne: I apologize to all who got the rough edge of my tongue and temper that morning. I fear I was brusque and even drill sargent-ish, and I hope no one took it personally. Thank you all for your patience!
Overcome by Kindness?
It never ceases to amaze me what the news of a lost child will do to a neighborhood. To an entire region! People came from as far away as Washington, DC, to Hughesville, Charles Co., wanting to help search for missing 2˝ year old Michael Donohue last May 29 and 30. You just don't get this type of response when the missing person is an elder, suffering Alzheimer's, who wandered from his nursing facility. Or day hikers who are overdue from the Appalachian Trail.
A lost child touches a chord in everybody, perhaps the child within us who can imagine how frightening it must be to be lost, or the parent within who can imagine the terror of losing one's own child. Yet, the search effort for Michael, while successful, was almost overwhelmed by the kindness and helpfulness of over 200 concerned citizens. As one of the neighboring farmers remarked, the people combing the fields and woods the night of Michael's disappearance "were as thick as bees."
The TROT Search Team did get called out to assist on this search, sending two horses and riders who were assigned to scour the Amish farmlands through the woods behind Michael's house. Our riders were teamed up with three young men from the farms, riding carriage horses and one plow horse and leading the search riders to the different ponds and through gates and along the swampy banks of Smoots Pond Run.
I beg to point out that we were called. Any group seeking recognition as a responsible and well-trained search resource does not show up uninvited. And the inviting party must be the responsible authority, i.e. Maryland State Police and their designates. Several search resources were called to assist, including Mid-Atlantic Dogs and the Dept. of Natural Resources Search Management team.
The 200 plus citizens held at the staging area, away from the cramped quarters of the Donohue's house set in a small clearing in the woods at the end of a dirt road, were not called. And most were not given an opportunity to participate, leaving many feeling frustrated and angry. And it took several search managers to deal with the ever growing group, assigning some to line searches of the woods, but turning most away. These search managers might have been better used at the search command, helping direct the searchers in the field.
There are things that the neighbors of the family can do, helpful things that will augment the search effort and not tie up search managers with the task of dealing with dozens of concerned but uninvited persons.
If you live nearby, search your own property. Search all your vehicles. Remember the youngster in Virginia who got up before dawn, wandered out the front door and off into the neighborhood, and then crawled into someone's car and went back to sleep? This child was found as soon as the owner of the car came out of the house to go to work. Search your garden shed, search the hayloft and the animal pens. Children love animals, and in fact Michael wandered into the woods following the family dog.
If you have a large area close by to the search area, you've got lots more to search, and you can offer assistance when you see uniformed searchers appear on your property.
You might stop at the local fire department to see if they are involved in the search effort. Perhaps the auxiliary is feeding the trained searchers, and you can lend a hand.
If you live a small distance away, take a trail ride. Not into the active search area (for Michael, this was perhaps a 2 mile circle around his home), but in your own neighborhood and trails. Then, if the search drags on and the area to search gets larger, you'll have the opportunity to meet a group of searchers and describe (preferably on a map) where you've recently ridden and what you've seen or not seen.
Put your concerns into perspective, and realize that there are trained officials who know how to organize an effective search, who know who are the well-trained groups to be called to assist them, and let them do their job. And remember, your prayers work wherever you happen to be, in the field calling a child's name or at home watching reports on TV. Suzanne & Bos
Shirley Hovermale, on her Quarterhorse Ho Bold Venture, with 103 points
Janine Hiryok, on her grade horse Hay Ley, with 95 points
A Lost Horse Story
As many of you know, on June 5, the day before the Judged Pleasure Ride, my horse Gaelyn wandered off while I was working on a obstacle. Now, normally Gaelyn is a very sensible and obedient horse. At first I expected to find him just around the bend. Hmm, not there. Just beyond the second bend there was a four-way trail intersection and no way to tell which way he had gone.
After searching on foot for several hours I walked back to camp to get reinforcements. The Park Rangers drove out in their 4-wheel drive vehicles. Kathy Dobson drove to the League of Maryland Horsemen's campground and to other local hangouts of horse people. Kathy also loaned me her horse so I could continue searching. Anne Bennof called Frank Dietz and Suzanne Anderson who came out to help search.
By midnight we knew there was no sense in trying to look any more that night. Kathy camped out with me, as we hoped Gaelyn would find his way back to the trailer.
The morning of the ride there was more than the usual amount to do. Those of us who had planned to set up obstacles the evening before had been looking for Gaelyn instead. Everyone understood that my top priority was finding my horse. The other Search Team members went into overdrive to get everything done in time. I handed over boxes of paperwork and left it to Suzanne to keep things in order.
My husband arrived with our SUV and he drove while I stood on the seat and called for Gaelyn. We asked everyone we saw if they had seen him. People were very helpful, giving us permission to check their fields for an uninvited visitor. We pulled over when we saw a horse trailer behind us, and I asked the man in the passenger seat if he had seen a loose horse with a blue halter on.
He said, "Look in the back there," pointing to the trailer. There was Gaelyn, safe and sound.
The men with the horse trailer were from the Carroll County Humane Society. Turns out, after trotting and galloping for less than two hours after leaving me, Gaelyn had spent a lovely evening and overnight in someone's backyard, where he had just been picked up.
My heartfelt thanks to everyone on the Search and Rescue team who rallied around me. Thanks also to the many people who told me their stories of the quiet obedient horse who got away. It did help me feel better. It's nice to know, in this day of constantly moving society, that we belong to a community, the Horse Community. Jean & Gaelyn