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Rave Reviews for Rocky Coast Riders
By Sonia Theobalds
On an ocean-lapped island near Boothbay Harbor, six women and six horses made musical magic last month.
It all began in a very innocent and humble manner. Each spring, a group of Maine horsewomen who call themselves the Rocky Coast Riders have an annual get-together to make riding plans for the year ahead.
At this year's gathering, Molly Stark suggested putting together a Drill Team. The group had thought about it before but since Molly had spent a few months recovering from a major surgery and had time to research, she was gung-ho to go. After mulling over the idea, they decided to try it and see if they could cut the rug with their steeds.
It meant a huge commitment on everyone's part with hours of practice, coordinated to music. Getting together once every two weeks proved to be an eye opener. Riding in a Drill Team is not as easy at it looks. The women decided they needed to convene weekly. As Molly put it, "We're just a Herd-o-Moms"!
So, every Wednesday they met at Patty Zincowski's and turned up the tunes and trotted in unison. It wasn't long before the catchy music and prancing ponies caught the attention of the neighbors and soon an audience formed. Each week more people came to watch the riders execute drill team patterns with their horses.
The Team enthusiastically decided to put on a "really big show" to raise money for
The Ever After Mustang Rescue
, based out of Biddeford, Maine. Patti generously offered her farm, Flying Passage, to host the venue.
Bill Greene from Channel 6 heard about the Team and their goal and went to watch. His short clip on the group was aired on TV. Nickernews also promoted the exhibition. People began to talk. Excitement mounted. And finally, in a sun drenched arena on a balmy summer evening, the dream became a reality.
The Rocky Coast Riders rode two performances, one at 4 and one at 6 p.m. As part of the fundraiser, they gave pony rides on their horses in between their shows (with photographs being taken and printed on site).
Farrier Wes Shields gave a Natural Hoof Care Presentation and Molly Stark treated the crowd to a Mustang Demonstration on gentling wild horses with her rescue Mustang mare, Gem, who was the inspiration for the charity event.
There were numerous raffles for lobsters, a western cowboy hat, a saddle blanket. Tickets were sold for a 50-50 draw. A hamburger and hot dog stand provided freshly grilled fare and a bake sale booth sold mouth-watering homemade pies, cakes and goodies. Other concessions offered horseshoe crafts and Maine souvenirs.
The music played, the horses danced, the crowd was enchanted. Huge smiles beamed on everyone's faces as the spellbound audience gleefully watched six women have a wonderful time cavorting with their equine partners.
You couldn't help but soak up the positive energy.
To everyone who attended and shared the joy, I wish you all a speedy recovery to your smile muscles! And may you still be hummin' the music days later as I am!
Photos by Virginia Wagner
The Rocky Coast Riders and their horses are:
Molly Stark and her quarterhorse, The Storm
Kerrin Erhard and her Kentucky Mountain Horse Soldier (aka "The Golden Boy")
Patti Zincowski on Molly's quarterhorse, Morris
Leisha McDougal on her POA/Arab cross, Buttercup
Sarah Plummer with her rescue Paint, Sandman
Dawn Kidd on her Morgan, Annie
Jamie Mansfield just joined the team with her Morgan, Ellie
If you would like to see The Rocky Coast Riders perform, they will be riding at Litchfield Fair on Sept. 11 at 1 p.m. The Maine Barrel Racing Association is raising money for Breast Cancer Awareness Day, all funds raised by The Rocky Coast Riders will be donated to the cause.
View Reader Comments:
Leisha & Buttercup
We had a BLAST! Nothing like hanging out with your girlfriends and their horses...Thank You to all who attended, it was a great sucess :)
You would think we would be tired of the music by now - NO WAY - I stick the disc in the cd player on the way to work and bounce to the drill all the way - sometimes I'm overcome and tears spring in my eyes cause we have sooo much fun!
Sarah & Sandman
What a fun time! It's great to know our version of "girls night out" is making a difference. The horses benefit from the work and attention and we get to spend time with good friends....and I'm still humming the tunes
YOU GIRLS ARE THE BEST! I haven't had so much fun in ages. My cheeks hurt from smiling, just seeing you all working together and supporting each other as a TEAM of fun-lovin' horsey women and wow, the horses thoroughly enjoyed it all too! So glad to have met you, to have been there for your debut and looking forward to your next gig! "Don't stop me now, I'm having such a good time, I'm havin' a ball, yeh!" Love it Love it Love it!
Lynn in NH
Hey Girls, I wish you had a videao of the ride. We have a "Ladies Night" every other Friday nite where 4-8 gals get together and practice drills. It really is a blast. We are all levels of riders but enjoy the commraderie of our horses. Wine and cheese afterwards is another bonus!! Lynn in NH
We started the social hour afterwards too - Patty had extra paddocks and stalls - and we have our "Beer" n'crackers (discovered some great Belgian wheat beers) - sippied ICE COLD on a Hot summer evening with your best friends and companions!woo boy - nothin like it! Memories to last.
If you liked this article, you may also enjoy:
Camelot minis find new life, Part One
Travels with Molly, Part I
"While there are many things you can fake in life, pretending that you know horses when you don't isn't one of them" - Cooky McClung
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