The Barre Riding & Driving Club (BRDC) is one of the oldest clubs in existence, established the same year as the hurricane of September 1938. It started as part of the Old Home Day Entertainment, holding it's first horse frolics only a few days prior to the damaging hurricane. The competition consisted of six events for horses and ponies, all owned by local citizens. The proceeds from the event were donated to the American Red Cross in order to help out following the storm. From 1942 through 1945 mounted patrols were organized under the leadership of Herbert Rice, Jennie Blaisdell, and Captain E. B. Stone. The patrol cut and maintained trails in addition to assisting police and fire patrols in search and rescue efforts.
Over the sixty plus years the club has been in existence, it has been involved in a multitude of activities. Examples of such activities are as follows:
The Galloping Hooves 4-H Horse Club, started in 1955, formed by Jennie Blaisdell. Another such activity that the club has been a part of, was the competitive 35 mile trail ride, which began ten years later, in 1965. Today, we are involved in offering a Horse Show Series. In addition, we also offer Spring and Fall Trail Rides, and recently a Gymkhana Series. All of the proceeds from the BR&D Scholarship Show are used to award Scholarships, and are available to members or for anyone living in the Quabbin Regional School District that are continuing their education.
A number of years ago, local horse enthusiasts in the North Central region of Massachusetts had a dream of developing an equestrian park in that area. The main purpose of this park would be to provide equestrians in the region a place where they could come with their horse(s) to participate in the activity of their choice, whether it be trail riding, showing, or participating in clinics, etc.
When a large parcel of land suitable for this purpose became available for sale, this determined group of people approached the town of Athol for assistance and, with the support of the town, purchased the property. This was the beginning of the NEW ENGLAND EQUESTRIAN LAND MANAGEMENT CONSERVATION CORPORATION, a non-profit organization dedicated to assisting in the development and operations of lands set aside for the specific purpose of equestrian use for present, and future, generations of horse lovers.
Under the guidance of the NEELMCC; the New England Equestrian Center of Athol (NEECA) was created: an organization of dedicated members willing to donate their time and labor to ensure that the Equestrian Park continues to thrive, grow, and provide opportunities for riders, drivers and others to enjoy the over 200 acres we call home.
NEELMCC/NEECA started with 6 members, and ended 2017 with over 210! Through grants, fundraisers; horse shows, clinics, wine tastings, auctions and tack sales, along with"hands on" work days up at the park, our membership has turned the dream into a reality. We now have a 240' X 100' main arena at the park, and a second one that can be divided into two warm-up rings or a driving or dressage arena. Our trail loop was recently expanded, widened and graded, and has a 2- 2' 6" cross country course on it, along with a versatility "confidence" course at the trailhead. We have a large trailer parking area adjacent to the main ring, and additional parking for cars and trucks. We currently have a generator driven PA system, and are exploring bringing electricity into the park.
Central New England Equine Rescue, Inc. (CNEER) is a non-profit, 501(c)3, all-volunteer rescue organization for abandoned, neglected, and abused horses. We are located in beautiful Central Massachusetts and have a wonderful group of volunteers, all holding the same goal in mind:
To rescue and rehabilitate horses in need.
Everyone involved at CNEER makes sure that every horse we rescue is treated with the best possible care. We are committed to their rehabilitation to make them healthy and restore their spirit. While we cannot do everything for all horses, we have learned we can do something to make a difference! One horse at a time, we fight the good fight to restore faith to these magnificent creatures who have often been put through great suffering in their lifetimes, tending sore muscles and injuries, re-establishing trust, and feeding those who have been starved for food and most of all for love and kindness.
Barre Horse Show Series Location
All events are held in Barre, MA at Felton Field, a beautiful facility located on Old Coldbrook Road. The facility features two show rings, a food booth and secretary's booth, bathrooms, running water and plenty of space to park.
Route 2 to Route #68 exit in Gardner. Take Route #68 south to Hubbardston. At the flashing yellow light in Hubbardston center, take a right. Follow this to the stop sign and take a right. This will be route #62. Follow Route #62 west (approximately 4 miles) to a four way intersection at the bottom of a hill. Take a left at this intersection and follow to stop sign. Take a left to the next stop sign. Take a left and Felton Field is at the top of the hill on the right.
FROM THE SOUTH
Route 395 to Route 20 West to Route #56 toward Leicester. Follow route #56 to route #122. Take a left onto Route 122 North. Follow Route #122 to Barre. Approximately four miles after the Barre town line, watch for signs to Felton Field on the right.
FROM THE NORTH
Most routes from the north will bring you to Route #2. Follow directions from route #2 below.
FROM THE NORTHWEST
Take route 2 to route 122 in Orange, follow route 122 to Barre. Continue on route122 through the center of the Town of Barre at Dunkin Donuts on the right make the left turn on to Valley Road. Continue to Old Cold Brook Road and make a right onto Old Cold Brook Road. Felton Field will be on the right take the second entrance on the right to Felton Field.