Not just horsing around

Jumper+at+a+GRTA+sponsored+horse+show+Alana+Galloway+16

Jumper at a GRTA sponsored horse show Alana Galloway ’16

Jumper at a GRTA sponsored horse show Alana Galloway '16
Jumper at a GRTA sponsored horse show
Alana Galloway ’16

Every year, the Greenwich Riding and Trails Association (GRTA) unites horse lovers and riders from all over Fairfield County to observe and participate in GRTA sponsored events.

Founded in 1914, the GRTA is entering its one hundredth year as an independent, nonprofit organization dedicated to upholding and conserving the green countryside, while promoting the tradition of horseback riding and trail riding in Greenwich. This is important, since the land and tradition means so much to riders in Connecticut.

“I love horseback riding because of the freedom and relaxation it offers during hectic and stressful times of life. I also like it because of the teamwork needed between the horse and rider. Horseback riding has made me more confident and comfortable in my every day life,” Convent of the Sacred Heart sophomore Grace Smith said.  
The GRTA hosts a number of events every year, presenting people with the opportunity to meet others with mutual interests and participate in horse-related events.
The association is most notable for its two horse shows, but they sponsor many fundraisers and shows annually. This year, the GRTA is celebrating a century of hard work, so people are expecting the events to be better than ever before.

“I work very hard for this organization, because I believe we need to save our open spaces; once they are gone, they are gone forever,” GRTA board member Kate Stoupas said in an interview conducted over email. “We are so lucky to have this trail system, which is now reaching its 100 year anniversary. I love this organization because I have a love for horses and they are a great equalizer.”
Mrs. Stoupas has been working with the GRTA for over ten years, and riding since she was a little girl. She helped to organize an awareness event called Stetsons and Stilettos two years ago, which was featured in Greenwich Magazine as one of the town’s best events in 2011. 

Horse jump set up at the annual autumn Greenwich Riding and Trails Association (GRTA) horse show. Courtesy of Kate Stoupas.
Horse jump set up at the annual autumn Greenwich Riding and Trails Association (GRTA) horse show.
Courtesy of Kate Stoupas.

The 2013 Stetsons and Stilettos event was held at the home of Earl Nemster September 21, and the GRTA’s first horse show of the year was held on September 29. These events were significant and demanding, since they initiated GRTA’s 100 Year Anniversary, and will lead to a number of other horse-oriented events. Currently, the GRTA is scheduled to host another horse show, a race through the Greenwich trails, and multiple fundraisers. 

Riders and horse-lovers continue to support the GRTA, looking forward to continuing success for them.
“I love horseback riding, and participate in a lot of shows,” sophomore Caroline Day said. “It’s really cool that the GRTA has been around for 100 years now.”
– Alana Galloway, Staff Writer