Perfect day, prizes make for fun trail ride

EQUESTRIAN

August 08, 1993|By MUPHEN WHITNEY

The Gillis Falls equestrian area looked like a hospital's emergency room last weekend. And that was before the Poker Ride sponsored by the Carroll County Equestrian Council.

Eventual winner Susan Hankel was riding with her leg in a cast, third-place Gil Breeding had a finger in a cast and his wife Janet (who placed seventh of the 13 entries) had a broken foot.

Fortunately, horses and riders all returned from the fun ride with no more injuries than they started with. It was the perfect day for a trail ride, especially one that offered prizes.

In a poker ride, riders pick up sealed envelopes along the trail that contain playing cards. At the end of the ride the envelopes are opened and riders make poker hands of their various cards. The highest hand wins.

TC Hankel of Woodbine and her horse Tasha won with two aces over a four, five and six. Hankel should have been so lucky the last time she was on a motorcycle.

"I tore all the ligaments behind my left knee in a motorcycle accident," said Hankel, who sported a bent leg cast. "I can sit kind of regularly and it doesn't bother my horse. She's real laid-back. I expect to be out of the cast before the next poker ride."

Poker Ride results

First place: Susan Hankel and Tasha (Woodbine); second: Angie Biddison and Pride's Organizer (Reisterstown); third: Gilbert Breeding (Lewisville); fourth: Harry Desmond (Westminster); fifth: Patti Mathis (Westminster); sixth: Jackie Horner (Reisterstown).

A barrel of fun

One of the organizers of last weekend's Maryland Western Horse Show Association Summer Show characterized the event as "a barrel of fun."

She could have added that there was a barrel of loot to be had. The winner of the Stablemates Classic Walk/Trot barrel race received a $100 gift certificate to spend at Stablemates tack shop.

"My mom said she'd take me shopping with it," said 8-year-old Karen Panuska of Woodlawn after she and her pony Annie beat out a huge field of riders.

Karen and Annie trotted the barrel pattern in 35.048 seconds.

"At first I had to work hard to go fast, but not to lope," said Karen, explaining her winning strategy. "She's a real fast trotter."

In the regular barrel race for her age division Karen finished second to Kyle Eide of Baltimore. Kyle finished second in the gift certificate class.

"I like riding and I like this pony," said Kyle of Little Foot, who belongs to his aunt, Judy Reinke of Marriottsville. "We usually do all the speed classes and we win a lot."

Kyle's time of 35.835 in the Stablemates class was less than a second off Karen's time.

While the first two places in the Stablemates Classic went to pre-teen-agers, the 40-somethings took the next two spots.

Vern Blum came up from Henderson on the Eastern Shore to ride Shelly No Drift to third place. He felt as though he had won, however, because he bested fourth-place Robert Heaton of Sykesville.

"I've shown with this club for 15 years and I came all that way just to beat Heaton," Blum said. "We both compete in driving classes with these horses and they both have great trots."

Heaton rode to fourth aboard the 17-year-old quarterhorse stallion Three Bars Double, also known as Vegas Playboy.

"My strategy was just to trot as fast as we could without breaking stride," Heaton said. "My daughter was walk/trot champion at these shows two years ago and she gave me some tips."

Several riders did break stride from a trot to a canter and were eliminated.

"It was my fault," said Tracey Dillon of Clarksville when her Morgan gelding Friday Night Steal broke into a canter. "And this year I've started doing the speed classes with him, so when he saw the barrels he said 'OK, let's go.' "

Computer errs

The Mid-Maryland Horse and Pony Association's computer hiccuped when it tallied the championship points from the July 18 show.

The champion of that show's English Walk/Trot Division was Alicia Corkran who rode Whispering Pines' Just My Style to two blue ribbons and a second place. This was Alicia's first show riding English.

Calendar of events

Today -- Mid-Maryland Horse and Pony Association Show. Howard County Fairgrounds. Judge: Susan Reed. (410) 848-5685 or (410) 875-2050.

Aug. 14 -- Carroll County Western Circuit Show. Ag Center, Westminster. (410) 239-7885.

Aug. 15 -- Frederick County Show Circuit. Ijamsville Show Grounds, Ijamsville. (301) 371-6612.

Aug. 28 -- Carroll County Western Circuit Show. Ag Center, Westminster. (410) 239-7885.

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