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Maynesboro Stud Memorial Ride this Saturday

September 12, 2012
BERLIN - The Maynesboro Stud Memorial Ride, being held to honor the 100th anniversary of the Maynesboro Stud Arabian horse breed, will include at least 50 horses in its three events: a 50-mile endurance ride, a 24-mile endurance ride and a 12-mile pleasure ride.

The event will be held at the Brown Company barns on Maynesboro road, opposite the entrance of the state prison, this Saturday, Sept. 15. Horses will begin to arrive Friday afternoon and the public is welcome to come and see the horses.

As of late last week, Walter Nadeau, who is organizing the event for the Berlin Historical Society, said he had received 48 entries, and they were still coming in. So far he had horses from just about every state in New England, also from New York, New Jersey and North Carolina.

William Robinson Brown, who owned the Brown Company, bought the former Horne Farm in 1899. In 1912 he and his brother began importing Arabian horses. The original 33 they imported would breed to 193. During the depression he had to sell all of his horses to save the company. Today it is estimated one-sixth of all Arabian horses carry the blood of the line he created.

Plans for this event began one year ago, when the historical society got a call from Kim Fortune of Warner, N.H. She owns a fifth generation Arabian horse with a direct line back to Maynesboro Stud. In her research she discovered 2012 was the 100th anniversary of the founding of Maynesboro Stud. She told Nadeau this was a big deal in the horse world and something should be done. And so something was.

Over a dozen members of W.R. Brown's family will be attending, including two of his living three children and many grandchildren, nieces and nephews.

A dinner for the riders and Brown family members will be held in the barn Friday night.

The 50-mile endurance riders will set out at about 6 a.m. It will take them about 5-6 hours to do the course, which goes up Cates Hill, into the ATV Park on Jericho Hill Road and back to the barns. Nadeau said they got a state permit for the part of the ATV trail the horses will travel on. That part of the trail will be closed to ATV riders during this event.

The 25-mile endurance riders will set out about 7 a.m. It will take them about 3-4 hours to do their trail. The 12-mile pleasure ride will leave at 9.

Over 40 volunteers are helping out. There must be watering stations every five miles. Over the 50 miles the horses must be checked three times and they must rest every 40 minutes. The vet stop will be at Paul Bisson's farm on Cates Hill. Bisson has a 400-gallon container that he uses to collect maple syrup in season that he will use to keep the water containers full. There are ten 100-gallon and a dozen 25-gallon containers along the route. There are some natural water sources along some areas of the trail as well.

Once everyone is back, Nadeau thinks that will be about 3-3:30, the winners of the 50 and 25 mile endurance ride will receive a silver plated cup similar to the one received by W.R. Brown in 1923 for his horses' performances in the U.S. Remount Races. In those races the horses did 300 miles over five days. His horses won three out five races. A silver plated tray will be given for places two to ten in those categories. All those participating will receive an event souvenir.

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