Singlefooters put on a different kind of horse show Clarksburg farm is host to jubilee for grading purposes


April 11, 1993|By MUPHEN WHITNEY

Appalachian Singlefoot horses from three states participated last weekend in a jubilee at Midnight Sun Farm in Clarksburg.

Singlefooters could compete in trail, surcingle, no-tack, western, xTC English, western singlefooting, English singlefooting, western 5-gaited and English 5-gaited classes. There were no takers for the harness or sidesaddle classes at this jubilee, although Singlefooters in other parts of the country compete in these classes.

"This isn't like a regular horse show," said Dr. James Grant Betts, a retired veterinarian from North Carolina. "The horses are not competing against each other. They are competing against themselves and their own best performance.

"Our jubilees are held for the owners and breeders to have their horses graded. Then that grade becomes part of the performance record that goes with the horses' registration papers."

Anna Mae Schnell of Hampstead was among the owners and breeders who brought horses for grading.

"We are here to help promote this breed of horse," Schnell said. "At the jubilees these horses have a chance to really show their versatility and do more things."

Schnell brought two mares, Miss Personality and Cinnamon Toast, to show in the western Singlefooting class.

"These are very smart horses," Schnell said. "Missy [Miss Personality] does everything I want her to, and like most Singlefooters she is very affectionate and likes to be with people. And she has that smooth ride of the Singlefooter."

The Appalachian Singlefoot breed of horse is growing and prospering thanks to the efforts of Betts and horse lovers like Schnell. The Singlefoot horse and its unique gait had virtually disappeared from this country until Betts began his quest to restore the breed.

The singlefoot gait is a diagonally moving gait that is basically a broken trot. When a horse singlefoots, he moves a diagonal pair of legs at the same time, as in a trot, but the front foot hits the ground a moment before the hind foot instead of at the same time.

The horse always has one foot on the ground and this way of moving makes for a very smooth ride. The gait is entirely natural and no artificial means are used in training the horse.

"We don't use anything that might hurt these horses or cause them not to trust us," said North Carolina trainer Wayne Orr, who brought several horses to the Maryland Jubilee. "I use no restraint methods in all the training I do. It might take a little longer sometimes, but it lasts a whole lot longer.

"The nature of these horses is to be very loving and kind. They have wonderful temperaments, and they are very hardy with lots of stamina. This gait is very efficient so the horses can go all day without wearing themselves out.

"We're committed to preserving and advancing this breed of horse. You have to be selective and objective in evaluating the horses. That's why the jubilees and breeding clinics and breed approvals are so important."

Help clear the trails

The three trails created by the Carroll County Equestrian Council, the Carroll County Department of Recreation and Parks and the Bureau of Land Management are open to the public for trail riding.

These trails require maintenance that must be provided by volunteers. Three days have been planned this spring to provide the necessary routine maintenance.

All three trail work days are Saturdays: April 24 (Gillis Falls), May 15 (Union Mills) and June 19 (Piney Run).

The CCEC also needs donations of tools such as hand pruners, long-handled anvil pruners or pruning saws.

For more information, call CCEC President Sonny Biddison at (410) 833-4593 or Jeff Degitz at the Department of Recreation and Parks at (410) 857-2103.

Point-to-point results

Results of pony races at the Elkridge-Harford Hunt Point-to-Point Races were:

Small Pony Division: 1st -- Arabelle Knox on Frisky Business, 2nd -- Timmy Mascari on Radish Dude.

Medium Pony Division (run with the Small Pony Division): 1st -- James MacLachlan on Soroya.

Large Pony Division: 1st -- Elizabeth Voss on Jay, 2nd -- Kelly Conaway on Got All Night, 3rd -- Leigh Offut on Bit O' Cut, 4th -- Josh Horner on Bull Durham.

Junior Horse (walkover): Mark Lloyd.

Calendar of events

Saturday -- American Grand National Steeplechase. 3:15 p.m. Butler. (410) 771-4106.

Saturday -- T.R.O.T. (Trail Riders of Today) general meeting. Gillis Falls Equestrian Area. Grimville Road, Mount Airy. (410) 795-4262.

Saturday -- 4-H Clinic on Showmanship, English Pleasure and Equitation, and Western Pleasure and Horsemanship. 8 a.m. Carroll County Agricultural Center. Westminster. (410) 848- 3099.

April 18 -- Carrollton Hounds Horse Trials. Ship's Quarters Farm, Westminster. (410) 848-3192.

April 18 -- Carroll County Western Circuit Horse Show. Agriculture Center, Westminster. (410) 239-7885.

April 24 -- Trail Work Day. Gillis Falls. (410) 795-4262.

April 24 -- Maryland Hunt Cup. 4 p.m. Glyndon. (410) 833-4188.

April 25 -- All English Schooling Show. Lehigh Riding Club. Lehigh Show Grounds. (410) 848-6597.

April 29 -- Maryland Jousting Tournament Association Exhibition. p.m. South Carroll High School, Sykesville. (301) 662-8826.

May 8 -- All 4-H Schooling Show. Hoofbeat 4-H Saddle Club. Ag Center, Westminster. (410) 848-3192.

May 9 -- Potomac Hunt Races. 12:30 p.m. Seneca. (301) 972-7621.

May 15 -- Trail Work Day. Union Mills. (410) 795-4262.

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