first published in the September 2021 print edition
There are several clubs and associations in Maryland that focus on Maryland’s extensive trail systems. These groups maintain equestrian trails, promote equestrian recreational riding, and lobby to protect open space. Below is more information about the Maryland Horse Council’s current member organizations that focus on trails and open space.
MHC members are also involved with many other trail riding groups across Maryland. We invite all trail riding organizations to join MHC as association members so that we can do our best to help your organization succeed. Join today at join.mdhorsecouncil.org.
Carroll County Equestrian Council
The Carroll County Equestrian Council (CCEC) was founded in 1984 and has been an MHC member since 1994. CCEC maintains the equestrian trails on public land, including those in Union Mills, Gillis Run, Piney Run, and Morgan Run NEA. They also operate in cooperation with the Carroll County Department of Recreation and Parks and regularly interact with the Carroll County Bureau of Facilities. One of CCEC’s most recent projects was to install a mounting block at the Union Mills Kowomu Trail. CCEC organizes several trail work days throughout the year, and is always looking for volunteers.
CCEC also manages the Carroll County Equestrian Center. The Center has two rings, three miles of trails and cross-country jumps along with features needed for showing such as judges’ stands, electricity, bleachers and more.
Chesapeake Plantation Walking Horse Club
The primary mission of the Chesapeake Plantation Walking Horse Club is to “promote the versatility of the flat-shod Tennessee Walking Horse for pleasure and competition.” The club offers monthly trail rides, parades, demonstrations, horse shows, clinics, parties, and fun. Members do not have to ride Tennessee Walking Horses, and the club welcomes all breed and gaits!
CPWHC is a member organization with yearly dues that help cover costs of monthly newsletters and liability insurance for all club-sponsored activities. They have been a member of MHC since 1993.
The club had to put most of its activities on hold during the COVID-19 pandemic but is currently developing an activities calendar for this fall and into the coming year.
For more information, please contact Jacquie Cowan at firstname.lastname@example.org or 410-215-4979.
Equestrian Partners in Conservation
Equestrian Partners in Conservation (EPIC) is dedicated to “preserv[ing] the equestrian heritage and rural character of Montgomery County by conserving and protecting [its] natural resources.” EPIC works with landowners, developers, and county government to establish trail agreements, create easements, and conserve land. It also educates the community about the value of the Agricultural Reserve and monitors county zoning activity.
EPIC has been a MHC member since 2011, and is currently participating in MHC’s Task Force on the Shared Use of Public Land.
League of Maryland Horsemen
The League of Maryland Horsemen, Inc., (LOMH) is a 501(c)(7) non-profit, member-owned, horse enthusiast social club with a six-acre campground located in Marriottsville. LOMH’s headquarters borders the 1,600 acre Patapsco State Park and is open year-round to members and their guests.
LOMH offers guided trail rides, camping facilities, bathrooms, showers, tie lines, portable corrals, electrical outlets, and a clubhouse that accommodates 250 people. LOMH members may also hold social activities such as dances and parties in the pavilion attached to the clubhouse. LOMH also issues a monthly newsletter to keep its members up to date on club activities.
LOMH was founded on June 21, 1950 and currently boasts more than 700 members. It has been an MHC member since 2017.
Maryland Equestrian Foundation & Rosaryville Conservancy
The Maryland Equestrian Foundation was created in 1988 to promote recreation, sports, and athletics in Upper Marlboro. They partner with the Rosaryville Conservancy, Inc., which is a 501(c)(3) charity, and together with DNR, they manage the Mount Airy Mansion and Rosaryville State Park. The park is 982 acres of woodland and open space used for fox chasing, horse trials, paper chases, and more. The park also offer 10 miles of multi-use trails. Maryland Equestrian Foundation and the Rosaryville Conservancy have been MHC members since 1993.
One of the founding members of the Rosaryville Conservancy is Dorothy Troutman, who was also a founding member of MHC. Troutman played a significant role in preserving Upper Marlboro open space and in creating the Prince George’s Equestrian Center. To learn more about Dorothy Troutman’s decades of preservation efforts, read “Dorothy Troutman: The Lady of Upper Marlboro” on equiery.com.
Trail Riders of Today
In 1980, 22 Maryland horseback riders came together to save the Paint Branch Stream Valley on the Montgomery County/Prince George’s County line. By 1997, the group had evolved into Trail Riders of Today (TROT), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated to preserving existing equestrian trails and establishing new ones. TROT has been an MHC member since 1998.
TROT partners with local organizations, state government agencies, land developers, and private organizations to maintain, preserve and promote open space and equestrian-use trails. TROT hosts clinics, work groups, public forums and mounted rides throughout the year. All levels of riders are welcome on all types of horses.
Tuckahoe Equestrian Center
The Tuckahoe Equestrian Center (TEC) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization on the Eastern Shore, located in the heart of the Tuckahoe State Park. The 4,000-acre park spans parts of both Caroline and Queen Anne’s Counties and contains about 15 miles of trails. TEC’s mission is to actively promote all equestrian activities, and offers trail riding, jousting, driving, parades, and other activities.
The Center includes several stalls, a clubhouse, a picnic area, an arena, and a jousting path. Overnight camping is available for members. TEC also offers an annual “Celebration of the Horse” weekend, which introduces hundreds of community members to horses.
TEC was founded in 1992 and has been a member of MHC since 1999. To learn more about Tuckahoe Equestrian Center, read “Tuckahoe’s Trail Ambassadors” on equiery.com.
For more information, visit www.tuckahoeequestriancenter.com.