Green in Greenwich (and Beyond)

Posted by Aaron Taylor on

In 1914 (two years AFTER our shop opened its doors!), seven Connecticut landowners formed the Greenwich Trails Association. About forty years later, it became the chartered nonprofit Greenwich Riding and Trails Association (GRTA), which works to foster appreciation of the long local tradition of horses and trails in riders, landowners and the community at large.

This Sunday, the GRTA hosts its 98th horse show! The hunter/equitation-centric competition is not just a fun day in the saddle. It is also a fundraiser for the GRTA's mission to preserve, protect and promote open space, including the Nichols Nature Preserve, their 94-acre property of meadows, forest and ponds with well-maintained riding/hiking paths and volunteer-led programs to benefit wildlife.

GRTA is just one horse-related organization with a nose for nature. Open space conservation and equestrian pursuits have long gone hand-in-hoof, from corporate titans who wanted habitat for their foxhunting pursuits to state-level farm preservation programs that benefit horse stables. Since 2007, the Equine Land Conservation Resource has been raising awareness of horse land-loss and supporting local action to keep land open to equestrian activities.

Some others are promoting sustainability in the equestrian world as a small step toward protecting our natural environs. Horsewoman and lifelong New Yorker Stephanie Bulger recently launched a program to help horse show managers run more eco-friendly events. It has been met with great enthusiasm and already has Upperville Colt and Horse Show, Brandywine, Washington International and Aiken Charity as partners. As her organization's name suggests, is green indeed the new blue? It's up to us all to make it happen!

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