The Summer Solstice Trail Ride to benefit First Descents was held two weeks ago. I changed the format a bit and accepted an invitation from Fort Hill Farms (www.forthillfarms.com) in Thompson, Connecticut to hold the ride at their farm. Owners Peter and Kristin Orr have beautiful organic gardens, a dairy farm, and an ice cream stand. My trail ride coincided with their event, “Come to a Farm for the Health of it.” Usually I hold mileage rides, where there are at least 10 miles of marked trail, usually in a state forest. I told riders ahead of time that the ride at Fort Hill Farms would be a destination ride.
Twenty-three riders arrived the morning of June 18th to ride the carriage roads and fields of Fort Hill Farms. The ride began by climbing to the top of the hill where the Federal Aviation Association has a tower. From this spot, the view extends to Massachusetts and Rhode Island. Riders progressed from here through the carriage road in the maple grove. Riders rode around the edges of cornfields and through the woods. Everyone rode in small groups and were able to enjoy each other’s company as well as our location.
As riders finished the trail, they came for a fresh lunch of chicken salad and fruit, generously sponsored by Nutrena and prepared by volunteer extraordinaire Kelly Trueb. All riders also received prizes from our sponsors in the equine community – including magazine subscriptions, a rope halter, gift certificates and the Equitrekking book and DVD set. At the end of the day, we tallied up the donations and had raised $2,550 for First Descents. I cannot thank my riders, sponsors, volunteers (Kiez Orr, Carolyn Stearns, Kelly Trueb, Peter and Kristin Orr) enough for their support.