CLEARFIELD – The 2007 PA 4-H State Competitive Trail Ride, known as “The Keystone Ride”, was held on September 21-22, 2007 in Rothrock State Forest. This ride is an annual event coordinated by Patricia Comerford, Andrea Graeff and Brian Egan (College of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Dairy & Animal Science).
Richard Ely, from Somerset County serves as the volunteer leader for the event. Dr. Scott McAllister, Centre Equine Practice, served as the vet judge for the ride, Jennifer Zajaczkowski served as the lay judge, and Jana Davidson, 4-H/Youth Development Educator from Clearfield County served as the horsemanship judge. Kathy Fye of Centre County served as official timer for the event. Additional help for the ride is provided by PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Bureau of Forestry, members of the Nittany Amateur Radio Club, Penn State Animal Science 327 students, CHAPS of Penn State and many local volunteers.
During the week prior to the actual trail ride Penn State staff and volunteers marked the trails and organized the camp site. The 28 miles of trail were checked and marked on foot and from vehicles. The trail winds over the roads and wooded trails of Rothrock State Forest (near State College) offering spectacular views and magnificent scenery. 48 4-H members, leaders, family and friends arrived with their horses early Friday, September 21st, went through pre-ride rigors and prepared to participate in the competitive trail ride on Saturday the 22nd
Competitive trail riding is a great sport and demonstrates, very effectively, teamwork between horse and rider. A good horse for trail competition just doesn’t happen – long hours of hard work are required of horse and rider. 4-Hers learn to select a good trail horse, how to condition it properly, develop riding skills, and learn what to expect of themselves and the horse to have a successful experience. The 4-H members participating in this project are offered opportunities to learn about proper conservation methods, care of the campsite and trail, a greater appreciation for nature and all animals, sportsmanship, horsemanship, cooperation, and teamwork.
Competitive trail riding takes place on well-marked trails at a timed pace. Judges observe the ride, inspecting the horses before and after the competition. The ride is not a race against time. Scoring is based on the overall condition of the horse, with points subtracted for failure to complete each segment of the ride within the specified time.
Tammy and Tiffany Angeletti both of Luthersburg participated in this event. Tammy serves as the 4-H Organizational Leader of the Turn n’ Burn 4-H Horse & Pony Club and Tiffany is 4-H member of that club.
The 2007 Keystone Ride had participants from Bedford, Blair, Clearfield, Dauphin, Lancaster, Monroe, Adams, and Wyoming counties. The ride offers high point awards in three divisions. This year’s winners were: High Point 4-H Jr. Rider –Alyssa Keefer, Lancaster County; High Point 4-H Senior Rider – Lauren Myers, Lancaster County; High Point Adult Rider- Jessica Gothie, Bedford County.
Division A – Jr.. Riding Ponies: First – Alyssa Keefer, Lancaster, Second – Leslie Weller, Lancaster; Third – Kelsey Price, Bedford; Fourth –Eli Claycomb, Bedford, Fifth – Cassity Brennan, Bedford.
Division B – Sr.. Riding Ponies: First –Samantha Fairchild, Lancaster; Second –Kelsey Cooper, Lancaster, Third – Cheyenne Price, Bedford.
Division C – Jr. Riding Horses: First – Kathryn Cromer-Bedford; Second—Megan Oliver, Wyoming; Third—Ayrian Talbert, Bedford; Fourth—Ashley Pletcher, Blair; Fifth—Michele Gannon, Monroe; Sixth—Tanner Shipley, Bedford.
Division D – Sr. Riding Horses: First – Lauren Myers, Lancaster; Second—Kaydee Oliver, Wyoming; Third—Kelly Corcoran, Monroe: Fourth—Tiffany Angeletti, Clearfield; Fifth—Josh Claycomb, Bedford.
Division E – Adult/Leader Light Weight: First –Chandra Whipp, Bedford; Second – Gillian Clark, Bedford; Third – Karen Peters, Bedford.
Division F – Adult/Leader Heavy Weight: First – Jessica Gothie, Bedford; Second – Connie Oliver, Wyoming; Third – Lauren Carpenter, Bedford; Fourth—Brenda Keefer, Lancaster; Fifth –Holly Corcoran, Monroe; Sixth—Tammy Angeletti, Clearfield.
The ride also offers horsemanship awards for each youth division. The horsemanship division is judged on overall care and handling of the horse or pony before, during and after the competitive trail ride. This year’s winners in the Junior Division: First—Alyssa Keefer, Lancaster; Second—Michele Gannon, Monroe; Third—Megan Oliver, Wyoming. In the Senior Division: First—Danielle Miller, Adams: Second—Tiffany Angeletti, Clearfield; Third—Lauren Myers, Lancaster.
The Keystone Competitive Trail Ride will be held again next year. Actual dates and locations will be announced when they are finalized. The Competitive Trail Ride project is open to all 4-H Horse and Pony Club members in Pennsylvania. If you would like more information contact your local Penn State cooperative extension office or Andrea Graeff at 814-863-3957.
4-H is a non-formal youth development educational program of Penn State Cooperative Extension for all youth between the ages of 8 and 19, regardless of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, or disability. For additional information on the 4-H program or to locate a 4-H club in your area, contact Jana Lynne Davidson at the Clearfield County Cooperative Extension Office at 814-765-7878 Ext. 3.