52nd annual NYS Horse Council Brookfield Trail Rideby Pauline E. Burnes, RLA

The New York State Horse Council’s (NYSHC) 52nd annual fall pleasure ride took place Oct. 8 – 11 at the highly acclaimed Brookfield Trail System. This popular event did not take place last year due to COVID-19 restrictions. Twenty attendees stabled their horses at the Madison County Fairgrounds. Pure Country Campground, a local facility that provides accommodations for horses and their owners, also hosted attendees. Highlights of the weekend included an auction to benefit the NYSHC and carriage drives on improved trails. All enjoyed the comradery of seeing old friends and making new ones.

The 130-mile Brookfield Trail System traverses Charles E. Baker, Brookfield Railroad and Beaver Creek state forests in southeastern Madison County, NY. These three state forests collectively provide 13,750 acres of public reforestation lands managed by the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation for multiple recreation purposes. These lands are open free of charge for hiking, trail riding, snowmobiling, cross country skiing, snowshoeing and mountain biking. Wooden boardwalks and bridges accessible by horses were replaced after age-related deterioration and flood damage made these structures unsafe. Many of these structures were upgraded to appropriate-sized culverts with earthen crossings to blend with the surroundings and improve natural stream flow even during high water events, including two protected trout streams. For more information and maps of the Brookfield Trail System go to brookfieldny.us/brookfield-trail-system.html.

The NYSHC is a nonprofit organization supporting the equine industry. Their mission is “to create a strong unified voice for all interests toward the preservation of a future for horses in New York State.” The NYSHC is a strong advocate for protecting trails and outdoor opportunities for horseback riding.

Benefits of membership with the NYSHC include coverage with Equisure group policy, a million-dollar excess personal liability insurance group policy; representatives in your area will present your concerns and advocate for your interests locally and statewide for all horse breeds and all disciplines; eligibility for the NYSHC Ride-Drive Program providing recognition for hours spent riding or driving your horse; and eligibility for a $1,000 scholarship at any of several equine programs at NYS colleges, including a $1,000 scholarship available for adults seeking to continue their education in the equine industry.

For more information on membership visit nyshc.org.