Andover Townsman, Andover, MA

April 3, 2014

A lucky day for young equestrians

Six local girls claim ribbons at Ironstone Farm show


The Andover Townsman

---- — Six Andover girls went home with ribbons after competing in Ironstone Farm in Andover’s second annual St. Patrick’s Day-themed Horse Show on Sunday, March 23.

The show attracted 21 riders who started the event by trying their luck selecting — out of a leprechaun’s pot — the name of the horse they would ride for the day.

Riders then competed in three events apiece against others of similar ability. Some of the participants had only been riding at Ironstone for a few months, while others are veterans of the Route 133 horse farm.

The local competitors were:

Ashley Chiango, who took top honors in two events as she competed in her first horse show at Ironstone. Ashley, who rode Bergen in the “Leprechauns” group, earned a first-place ribbon in equitation on the flat, another first in equitation over poles and a second place in trail course. The 9-year-old who began riding at Ironstone just five months ago, is in the fourth grade at West Elementary School.

Eleanor Mayer earned two first-place ribbons and a third place while riding Bergen with the “Horseshoes” group. She took top honors in equitation on the flat and in equitation over poles, and a third in trail course.

Lillian McNulty, riding Kurt, took fourth place in trail course and fifth place in both equitation on the flat and equitation over poles. She is in the fourth grade at High Plain Elementary School and has been riding at Ironstone for three years.

Ellen Pechinsky, who rode Kessler in the “Lucky Charms” group, took home a second place in equitation over poles and fences and fourth place ribbons for trail course and equitation on the flat. The third-grader at High Plain Elementary will be attending her third summer camp at Ironstone.

Gracie Ryan took home first-, second- and third-place ribbons riding Rolfe in the “Lucky Charms” group. She finished first in equitation over poles and fences, second in trail course and third in equitation on the flat. Gracie, who has been riding for more than a year, is a second-grader at Sanborn Elementary School.

Maya Schwinn-Clanton, who rode Wenzel in the “Shamrocks” group, placed second in trail course and third in equitation over poles and fences and in equitation on the flat. A fifth-grader at West Elementary School, she has been riding at Ironstone for five years.

The show was coordinated by Ironstone riding instructor Emily Hutson, an Andover High School graduate who learned to ride at Ironstone as a girl and volunteered at the farm as a teenager.

Ironstone offers recreational riding for people of all abilities. It is also home to two nonprofit organizations, Challenge Unlimited and Ironstone Therapy, which use horses to provide effective therapy helping children and adults with a wide range of disabilities.

Registration is now taking place for a nine-week, spring recreational riding block at Ironstone that runs from April 21 to June 21. Learn more about recreational and therapy programs at Ironstone at www.ironstonefarm.org.