by Carrie Gilbert
What a difference a year makes! This year the KTFMC, with assistance from Facebook, posted an event on their website which drew in dozens of new riders to the annual Trail Ride. That posting, along with moving the date two weeks earlier into September, allowed many riders to partake in the ride. Tired from three grueling weeks at the Keeneland September Yearling Sale, riders were ready for a laid back afternoon and a relaxing ride.
On the Saturday following the Keeneland September Sale, 42 riders were saddled and mounted for the 15th annual KTFMC Trail Ride. Similar to last year, the ride took place at Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill in Mercer County. After negotiating the tight and winding turns to County Road 68, riders arrived ready for a two and half hour ride on a gorgeous late summer afternoon.
Once the trailers were unloaded and horses tacked, the riders were gathered and lead off by Club President, Scott Mallory. Heading for the wooded trails deep within the center of the property, the massive group disappeared into the trail head.
The group was able to stay together through the ride though horse sizes ranged from ponies to draft horse crosses and not a single horse misbehaved. Several riders brought green horses for schooling purposes, knowing in advance that the ride would be at a walk and for a far distance which was ideal for introducing a young horse to a large group and the quietness of trail riding.
Club member Kristen Goncharoff brought her 4yo thoroughbred gelding Gus Gus out for his first ever trail and by the looks of him during the ride, he is a natural trail horse! Gus, a stout chestnut son of Roman Ruler was so well behaved that Kristen and all of the riders in front of and behind Gus were so amazed on how well his thoroughbred brain was handling his newly introduced task. Gus was a champ, walking in line following, leading and walking right into the deep creeks throughout the trail. By the end of the day Gus was awarded an imaginary gold star for his flawless performance.
Callan Strouss and wife Darcia Fantucio brought Darcia’s two hunt horses for a quieter ride, a good schooling session for recently acquired “Irish”. Darcia’s longtime hunt horse Mystery was decked out in their Caldara Farm’s stable colors of bright purple. Strouss, on the fidgeity Irish set out after a three week Keeneland Sale marathon. Darica, who signed up the pair said Callan was eager to relax and just ride!
All of the riders returned, untacked and cooled out their mounts before heading over to a table where lunch awaited. A nice meal was prepared by Shaker Village and enjoyed by all while riders sat and talked about an array of equine topics.
When lunch concluded, several riders re-mounted to enjoy the spectacular weather while others loaded up and headed back up 68 towards Lexington. With the hustle of the Keeneland Sale over and a relaxing ride to clear the mind and a recharge of batteries it became clear the next ride would be in a car to opening weekend of the fall Keeneland meet.
To view more pictures from this event go to our Event Photos page.