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You Are the Leader of TROT
(what follows are remarks made at the February 19th TROT Annual Potluck Dinner and 20th Anniversary Celebration)
TROT is a serious organization. As I look back over TROT's history, I wonder, "How can 20 years just flash by?" It's wonderful to see so many familiar faces . . . and so many new faces, which is important. The fact that we're here 20 years after our first trail blazing efforts is both positive and negative.
The negative side is that it's not the old days when we can simply get on our horse and ride through that field, woods, or open land. Life got complicated when we saw all those surveyors tapes, and it has continued to be that way.
The positive side is that TROT exists after 20 years and is still actively protecting trails and working with riders, developers and municipalities to keep our precious trails in existence.
At our Potluck Dinner 20th Anniversary Celebration, we had several of the original 22 charter members of TROT present, including myself, Anne Bennof, Sarah Donaldson, Terry Ledley, Sandy Lewis, Terri Mulligan, and Pat Oliva. These are members who gave TROT viability and proved that they were a serious and dedicated group of riders.
Also at our Potluck Dinner, we had many other dedicated TROT members, riders who joined soon after those first few meetings 20 years ago, and riders who had joined that very night. You are all the essence of TROT, and you are the leaders of Trail Riders of Today. With institutional memory, support, and enthusiasm, you will lead TROT for the next 10 to 20 years.
You don't have to do it the way we did 20 years ago. There are different problems and approaches to these problems. There are new goals that will be set and new management techniques.
TROT has always had a way of making it happen! I remember when John Hone joined us—a lawyer just when we needed one—and TROT got By-Laws. You get the idea—TROT has a natural but magical ability to have the right person at the right moment come along. Are you that "right person?" I'm certain if you put your imagination and intuition to work, you will find you are. You are the key to Trail Riders of TODAY. Now it's you turn.
I'd like to take a moment to remember those founding members who have since died, leaving a small empty place in TROT waiting to be filled by our new generations of trail riders: Edwin "Doc" Godwin, Gwenn Belyea, Frank Norwood, and Lillian Schell. I would also ask you to remember Marcella Petree in your prays, a founding member who is very ill.
And now, give your riding buddy, that 4-footed friend down in the barn, a carrot for me, for if it wasn't for that beautiful and noble companion, there would never have been a need for TROT! Happy trails!
EPM: A Difficult Problem to Solve
EPM remains a challenge to diagnose.
Description of Disease
Equine protozoal myeloencephalitis (EPM) is a neurological disease of the horse. EPM is caused by a protozoal parasite (single-celled organism) called Sarcocystis neurona that invades the nervous tissues of the horse causing progressive damage and swelling to the spinal cord (myelitis) and/or brain (encephalitis). Cases of EPM have been reported in horses and ponies from nearly all age groups and breeds throughout the United States.
Opossums have been implicated as a host for Sarcocystis neurona. Opossums do not become ill, but they do shed infective stages of the parasite in their feces. When infected opossum feces contaminates feed, water and bedding, horses may become infected by ingesting contaminated material.
Clinical signs of EPM can develop in some horses when the parasites cross into the spinal cord and/or brain and cause damaging lesions. The resulting neurological ataxia (incoordination) shows up in the afflicted horse as severe stumbling, falling down, leaning to one side, and loss of muscling). Other horses apparently develop an immune response and rid themselves of the organism without showing clinical evidence of infection.
The horse appears to be a dead-end host for Sarcocystis neurona, which means that carnivores that might eat tissues from an affected horse will not become infected. In addition, although the parasite replicates in the horse, it is not shed in horse feces, therefore, it is not considered contagious to other horses.
To Test for EPM
Testing for EPM is performed on either a blood sample or a cerebral spinal fluid (CSF) sample, in both cases the test is looking for the presence of the antibodies to the parasite. This resulting antibody response returns a positive Western Blot Test. But the presence of antibodies to the parasite does not necessarily mean the full blown neurological problems will follow.
At the California Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory System, extensive research began in 1996, and almost 200 spinal cords and brains from euthanized horses have gone under the microscope. The results were compared to the earlier Western Blot Tests taken on the same horses.
Their results indicate that the Western Blot Test is very useful to RULE OUT the presence of EPM. A negative Western Blot performed on a CSF sample was 97.3% accurate and in a blood sample, 96.1% accurate.
But a positive result of the Western Blot Test is not as useful. Examinations of 86 horses that tested positive this way were performed. Some of the horses were normal and some showed the neurologic signs suggesting EPM. Only 17.4% of this small group were found to actually have EPM present.
Research continues to develop a more reliable test for EPM. Genes and proteins of the parasites are being examined. One possible test is the DNA-based polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test. This test is designed to look for the actual parasites themselves in CSF samples. It is still being researched.
Obviously there is no vaccination possible for preventing a horse from drinking or eating this protozoal parasite. What you can do is practice good animal husbandry by preventing opossums from entering your feed and bedding storage areas. Buy your feed and bedding from reputable sources. Provide good quality water for your horses. And most importantly, consult your veterinary for ideas suitable to your specific location.
Reprinted from The Horse Report, UC Davis Center for Equine Health, 17:1,3-5 (Jan) 1999.
Thoughts from the PotLuck
On February 19th, I attended the 20th Anniversary TROT Dinner at the Howard County Fairgrounds. It was great to see so many old friends again, especially my old trail riding buddies Judy Richardson and Anne Bennof. Judy kept her horse at Frank Norwood's barn for a while and Anne's horse was just down the road at the Anselmo's. We spent some good times riding those Fox Hills Trails.
There was a very impressive display of TROT's accomplishments on display in the 4-H Hall of the Fairgrounds that night, created by Barbara Cannizo and Anne Bennof. It was arranged, year by year, highlighting TROT's growth and its ever expanding influence here in Maryland. To paraphrase Anne Bennof when she introduced Judy Richardson to the assemblage, "It all started with someone who thought differently and believed that something actually could be done to prevent the loss of trails as development inevitably took place."
Judy didn't accept the idea that developers wouldn't be receptive to accommodating riders and working with them to provide easements for equestrian rights of way. I wish that all of our current members could have attended this dinner and seen this record of achievement. There are so many people who have contributed to TROT's success over the years by getting out there and being a part of this effort.
I have been a member of TROT since its inception, but I am sorry to say that I haven't taken an active role. But I was inspired that Saturday night to become more involved., and I hope that more members of TROT will feel the same way. Many of the trails that you ride today might not be there if it hadn't been for TROT.
Mulligan, Founding Member
New Board Members Elected
Also at the General Meeting, Potluck Dinner, 20th Anniversary Celebration, five new people stepped forward for nomination and election to the TROT Board of Directors. With great pleasure that I introduce Kathy Dobson of Ellicott City, Angela Klinger and Pat Merson of Frederick, Marilyn Miller of Woodsboro, and Jack Monahan of Highland. These folks join Gale Monahan, Anne Bennof, Tim McGrath, and Tara Santmire. At the next TROT Board meeting, March 8, Wednesday night, at Gale & Jack's house, the offices of president, vice-president, secretary, and treasurer will be decided from among these helpful and dedicated TROT people.
In addition, Angela and Pat have jointly assumed the duties of Frederick County coordinators of TROT and trail activities. They promise a gathering soon of Frederick County TROT members, and from personal experience, I can promise you a great potluck feast at Angela's or Pat's farm.
Welcome to everyone joining the Board!
Year of the Horse at the Montgomery County Fair
Horse Facility Update:
Cornerstone, Inc. has won the bid to build a Horse Barn near the Horse Arena at the Montgomery County Fair. The facility will enable up to 16 horses or ponies to be stalled at the fair this year and for future activities. The stalls within the barn will be donated.
Currently, Gene Walker of the Fair Horse Committee advises that nearly half of the stalls have already been spoken for. Each sponsor will be remembered by a plaque on the stall donated. If you are interested in supporting our 4-Hers, the Montgomery County Fair, and fellow horse lovers, please consider having your farm, barn, club, or business sponsor a stall for $ 1,000. It's great advertising and it will be there for years to come, thanking you for your help.
For more information, please contact John Wood at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information on the Fair, try Website http://www.mcagfair.com/.
Bad Horse List of New Year's Resolutions
Submitted by Jan Kozlowski
Reprinted from Clifton Horse Society's Leadline, February 2000.
Farm Services by TIM
All of the above services are customized to meet the equestrian's special needs and wants.
any real estate leads generated by or for a TROT member,
FOR SALE—TWH mare, 6 yrs old, 14.3 hh, chestnut with flaxen mane & tale, very pretty, loves people, willing on trails, intermediate rider, to a good home, $1500, call 410-343-1678.
FOR LEASE—at private facility in Boyds with trails, 2 geldings: a 12-yr-old Quarterhorse, 15.1 hh, fancy mover, and a 22-yr-old quarterXthoroughbred , 15.3 hh, suitable for trail riding. Both friendly, gentler, well-schooled, especially good for young riders. Price negotiable. Call Sarah at 301-540-5433.
FOR RENT—3-bdrm, 2-bath contemporary home in Frederick Co., near Union Bridge. Barn w/water & elec., room and pasture for 2 horses. Beautiful, peaceful setting, close trailering to many parks. Pets welcom.e. $1,200/month. Contact Doris Kulp 410-775-2554 or 301-975-5605.
FOR SALE—Syd Hill Suprema saddle: horn, western fenders, thigh rolls. Very good condition & well cared for. New it was $1900, will sell for $1200. Bring your horse and we'll take you on a mountainous trail ride to try it, and do some saddle fitting tests. Angela & Ralph, Frederick, MD 301-898-9133.
FOR SALE—Bridle/halter headstalls, leather $40; halter/bridle, nylon, $20-$25. Also, Eng. & West. saddles and tack, new & used. Please call and inquire. 410-781-7479.
WANTED—I'm looking for that perfect trail horse. Silver is facing a long recuperation. I am not as young, limber, or strong as I once was, and much more fragile and vulnerable. I need a small (up to 14.2 hh tops), experienced trail horse who is calm, safe, and bomb-proof, healthy and sound. I need a horse who will walk out, but not jig or pull. It must be relaxed enough to ride alone, lead group rides, and do Park Police Volunteer patrols with shrieking children running up excitedly to pet it. Must be good with dogs. If you have the horse that can get me back in the saddle, call Terry at 301-434-1174.