Riders and their horses and ponies came from several Maryland counties and several states last weekend to strut their stuff at one of the show season's most laid-back and fun events and to lend support to the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis, Tenn., beneficiary of the money raised at this show.
Everyone who came to Saddleview Ranch's Walk/Trot Schooling Show in Frederick County had a good time, but few left with as many top ribbons as Howard County resident Terri McIntyre.
Despite a lot of competition, Terri and her mom's horse Justin rode off with three first-place ribbons and two third-place ribbons in the Novice Rider and Green Horse divisions.
Justin has belonged to Ellen Hocheder of Mount Airy (Terri's mom) for about a year, and Terri has been riding him on and off for about six months.
"When I first saw him I liked his head," Ellen said of the chestnut nonspotted Appaloosa gelding. "He was kind and quiet and had nice gaits."
Terri has been riding for many years, but has not been in a show for the past decade. Before her classes she wondered how she and Justin would get along in the show ring, but she needn't have worried.
"He was very quiet in the ring," Terri said of the deep copper-colored 5-year-old. "The best thing was that he got over the jumps."
Terri and Ellen are now looking for another show to enter Justin in as soon as possible.
"I hope we can find another show similar to this one," Ellen said. "This was great for young horses. There was lots of competition, but it was fair."
"It's good to school young horses in the ring with other horses," Terri said. "At some shows there aren't many classes for young and green [inexperienced] horses, but here a green horse can get lots of experience in the show ring."
"Everyone worked hard on this show," said Saddleview Ranch owner Vicki Bazan. "All the Bits and Bridles 4-H kids had a job to do and they all brought something for the bake sale to raise money for St. Jude's."
One of the things the 4-H kids did was hand out the awards at the end of each class. Saddleview gives unique "ribbons" at their shows: drink cups in the appropriate color with a congratulatory message from Saddleview Ranch.
National Trails Day
Don't forget that Saturday is the first National Trails Day.
Montgomery County resident David Lillard, national director of this event and an official of the American Hiking Society, said Friday that he is pleased with the range of trails users involved with National Trails Day.
"We have equestrians and bicyclists who are very involved and supportive of this," Lillard said. "Trail users are seeing how varied the uses can be for the trail systems."
Lillard says that Maryland equestrians, especially the Carroll County Equestrian Committee, have been very enthusiastic and very well-organized in their efforts to support National Trails Day.
"This past week the governor signed a proclamation for Maryland Trails Day, which will be the same day as National Trails Day," Lillard said.
Calendar of events
Today -- Waredaca Farm Horse Trials. Laytonsville. (301) 774-7123.
Today -- Insurance seminar for horsemen. Learn about liability, safety, injuries. Merry Mount Riding and Training Center at Whiting's Neck. (301) 274-9351.
Tomorrow -- Memorial Day Races. Fair Hill Race Course. Elkton. (410) 398-8270.
Tuesday -- Carroll County Equestrian Council general meeting. 7:30 p.m. East Middle School, Longwell Avenue, Westminster. (410) 833-4593.