Opinion: Letter to the Editor: Preserving Area’s Equestrian Culture

Opinion: Letter to the Editor: Preserving Area’s Equestrian Culture

The Northwest suburbs of Washington DC hugging the Potomac River have always been known for being horse friendly. For many years, horses, horse properties and equestrian events were commonplace. Over the past decade, this equestrian culture has come under pressure as the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors continues to increase property taxes and approve higher density real estate development. As new homeowners join the community, they are increasingly less informed of this equestrian heritage and may question the need to have horse friendly parks, trails and road crossings. By no means have horses left Great Falls and boarding opportunities are in high demand. All the more reason to protect Turner Farm as an equestrian park and be thankful for events such as the one that took place this past weekend – the Summer Horse Trials, Combined Test, and Dressage Show. Not only does it represent one of the many horse shows at Turner Farm over the course of any given year, it brings the equestrian community together and raises needed money for park maintenance. It also provides a wonderful opportunity for beginner and novice riders to participate in an organized event in a friendly and supportive environment. Now in its fifth year, riders and spectators alike look forward to the event that draws hundreds to Turner Farm from surrounding communities. This all volunteer event runs smoothly, including wonderful support from Great Falls Volunteer Fire and Rescue who are present maintaining a watchful eye on horse and rider safety. Thank you to Kristin Parisot and Wendy Masemer for your vision and leadership. The equestrian community needs more passionate leaders such as yourself to ensure that our community never forgets why Turner Farm is here, that the park is well utilized by the equestrian community and why this community invests so greatly to ensure it is maintained and preserved for future generations.

Craig Parisot

Great Falls