County ensures happy trails for its equestrians Hunting season restricts use of two areas through Feb. 28


September 30, 1992|By MUPHEN WHITNEY

Carroll County is home to a wonderful equestrian trail system The Carroll County Equestrian Council maintains three trail-riding areas that are open to all horsemen.

Volunteers work hard to maintain the trails and represent the needs of horsemen.

The Piney Run Park Equestrian Trails are located off Martz Road south of Route 26 near Sykesville and offer beautiful views of Piney Run Reservoir. Parking is available for a maximum of five two-horse trailers. For a map of the Piney Run Trails, call Piney Run Park at (410) 795-3274.

The Union Mills Equestrian Trails are off Rinehart Road east of Route 97 north of Westminster, and the Gillis Falls Equestrian Trails are on Grimville Road northeast of Mount Airy. Both areas have parking for horse trailers.

Groups of 10 or more must obtain a permit from the county Department of Recreation and Parks to ride at either area. To get information about permits or a map of the riding areas, call (410) 857-2103.

The trails at all three areas are plainly marked with black and yellow striped ribbons placed at eye level on trees. Riders should stay on the marked trails and not ride on cropland or where trees are planted. Stream crossing should be made only at designated areas, which are marked on the maps.

Motorized vehicles are not allowed on any of the trails.

The trails at Union Mills and Gillis Falls are part of a multi-use system. They are closed on certain days from Sept. 1 through Feb. 28 to accommodate hunters. The trails at Union Mills are closed Monday, Wednesday and Friday. The Gillis Falls trails are closed Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday.

Both trail systems will be closed for the entire period from Nov. 28 through Dec. 12. The Piney Run trails are open seven days a week.

If you ride at the Gillis Falls area, you also can see the site of the new Carroll County Equestrian Rings.

A dozen members of the Carroll County Equestrian Council gathered there Saturday for a drawing for a $1,000 Australian Stock Saddle donated to the organization by Charlie Duvall of Carroll County Tack.

"The money we raised [almost $600] will go toward completing these rings," said CCEC president Albert "Sonny" Biddison. "We've already come a long way. The next thing we want to do is get the footing down so that there can be shows held here next spring."

Biddison noted that the cost to put the footing down in the two rings will be about $12,000.

"We're about $10,000 short," he said. "We're very lucky that Bud and Fran Flohr arranged for Baltimore Gas & Electric to donate the posts for the perimeter of one of the rings."

"Now we have to come and help pound them in," Fran Flohr said.

Upcoming fund-raising efforts include solicitations of donations from individuals, horse organizations and area businesses. And CCEC vice president Carolyn Garber had a new idea.

"I saw some patterns for some horse shapes and I think we ought to do a quilt to raffle off," she said.

Silence fell as the machine borrowed from the Sykesville Freedom District Fire Department mixed up the 556 raffle tickets. Duvall closed his eyes and drew out a ticket.

The winner was the Hoofbeat 4-H Saddle Club of Westminster.

"It couldn't have gone to a better cause," Biddison said.

Westminster resident Judy Taylor's 3-year-old Appaloosa fillyWap's Shenanigan, placed second in the Maryland Horse Show Association Hunter Breeder 3-year-old division year-end standings.

The 15-hand, 2-inch dark bay placed third or fourth in six shows, including very competitive outings at Upperville and Warrenton. Taylor hopes the filly will go on to excel at dressage or combined training.

The trail ride scheduled at Gillis Falls last Saturday wapostponed until this weekend. Call Janet Breeding at (410) 795-4262 for date, time and directions.

Ever wonder what blacksmiths do besides put shoes on horse's feet? You have a chance to find out at Saturday's Blacksmith's Day at the Carroll County Farm Museum.

Kudos to horse competitions that offer classes for different leveriders.

Among some upcoming ones:

* The Redland Hunt Pony Club Junior Horse and Pony Show (Saturday in Sandy Spring) will offer Dollar Bare Back, Cake Walk and Costume Classes.

* Mount Airy Saddle Pals (Oct. 11 at the Mount Airy Carnival Grounds) will offer Novice Pleasure, Novice Equitation and Green Horse classes at walk and trot, a command class, an Oldies But Goodies class, a 2-foot hunter hack class, and a 2-foot, 6-inch class for horses.

* Hunting Ground Farm Horse Trials (Oct. 11 in Whiteford) offers beginner novice rider and horse divisions, a division for baby beginner novices and a tiny tots division.

The equestrian calendar

Saturday -- Harford Rodeo and Maryland State Jousting Championship, Harford County Equestrian Center, (410) 838-6000, Ext. 339.

Saturday -- Blacksmith's Day, Westminster, (800) 654-4645.

Saturday -- Redland Hunt Pony Club Junior Horse and Pony Show, Sandy Spring.

Tuesday -- Carroll County Equestrian Council general meeting, 7:30 p.m., Westminster, (410) 833-4593.

Oct. 10 -- Trail ride at Union Mills, (410) 346-7060.

Oct. 10 -- Open English Horse Show, Westminster, (410) 848-3192.

Oct. 10 and 11 -- Potomac Valley Dressage Association Equestrian Workshop with Francois de Ruffieu, Charlotte Hall, (301) 932-7236.

Oct. 11 -- Mount Airy Saddle Pals Show, Mount Airy, (301) 831-5230.

Oct. 11 -- Hunting Ground Farm Horse Trials, Whiteford, (410) 879-4031.

Oct. 17 and 18 -- Dressage clinic with Jean Luc Cornille, Fulton, (301) 593-8333.

Oct. 21 -- Educational seminar on equine health care, Westminster, (410) 833-4593.

Oct. 31 -- Chesapeake Appreciation Days Jousting Exhibition, Sandy Point State Park, (410) 272-3086.

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