Elves on ponies and snowflake-covered horses brought holiday spirit to the Highlands at Loch Moy Farm for the annual Donation Derby on December 3rd.
This year’s Donation Derby raised over $1,000 for the Frederick County 4H Therapeutic Riding Program. This non-profit organization aims to provide positive horseback riding experiences for members of the community with disabilities.
The holiday themed Derby took advantage of Loch Moy Farm’s all-weather schooling complex with an extensive array of portable cross-country fences and five acres of all-weather footing rings.
Feistily decorated riders and horses across the levels (Prelim-Elementary) began the course with several show-jumps before continuing onto the cross-country portion. The course included a ditch option for most levels and double banks for Preliminary and Training. Riders were given an opportunity to school before their division.
The idea to create an all-weather cross-country schooling complex was launched by Carolyn Mackintosh, the owner of Loch Moy Farm, who saw a similar venue at Aston-le-Walls during a trip to England.
Each fall, at the conclusion of the competition season, Loch Moy Farm staff moves a range of portable cross-country fences onto the all-weather footing rings, where the jumps remain until the spring. Riders can then use the jumps to school or compete throughout the winter. Smaller single banks are currently under construction with plans for a water feature in the future.
“Riders and coaches throughout Area II are thrilled to have this course open for schooling through the winter,” commented Natalie Hollis, an Advanced level eventer and coach. Natalie was placed in the top three of Loch Moy Farm’s Instructor Incentive Program for 2016.
“It allows riders to keep their horses fit and prepare for the spring season without heading south. It’s amazing!”
The next Cross Derby at Loch Moy Farm will be held on Jan. 7, 2017. Sign-up early, as this event fills quickly! For more information and easy online entry, head to Event Clinics.