2005 Summer Season

Litchfield, CT -- Contact: Janet L. Serra For Immediate Release 860-567-4506 lhcvbnwct@aol.com The horses are coming - some 80 of them. Skilled riders from throughout the tri-state area will be riding these beauties, competing in the annual Governors Horse Guard Horse Show on July 21 at the Second Company Horse Guard's 65-acre headquarters in Newtown, CT. A special attraction this year will be precision demonstrations by mini-horses, who are perennial crowd pleasers. The colorful spectacle will feature two rings of competition. An exciting hunt course will put jumpers through their paces in one ring, while the equitation ring will feature traditional competitions such as the walk, trot and canter, with entrants vying for best in show blue ribbons and cups. In all, there will be 87 classes open to competitors, with judges sanctioned by the Connecticut Horse Show or Connecticut Horse Jumpers associations. The action begins at 8 a.m. and continues through the day. Admission is a $5 donation to benefit the non-profit, all-volunteer Second Company Governor's Horse Guard, sponsors of the event. The Company will host their annual free Open House on August 21, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., when the troop will present mounted cavalry drills and a musical ride, and offer pony rides for children. The public is also invited to attend the weekly drills held outdoors each Thursday under the lights (weather permitting) at 7:30 p.m. at the Newtown headquarters, and to stop by on weekends from late morning to early afternoon to visit with the 36 horses in residence. All of the horses have been donated by individuals and stables. The mounts include quarter horses, Arabians, thoroughbreds, and an Irish Cobb. Four mustangs, formerly wild horses from Wyoming, were rescued from extermination, adopted and trained. The Second Horse is one of the oldest horse cavalry units still in continuous service in the United States. The volunteer militia unit, nearly 40 strong, is one of four in the state dedicated to the preservation of the cavalry in Connecticut. As an active Cavalry Unit, it serves the Governor and the state under the direction of the Connecticut Army National Guard. Originally chartered in 1808, the unit has a long history of service. It was activated for the Border Conflict with Mexico in 1916, in World War I and II and, was called for emergency management at the regional command center in Litchfield in 2000. The troop rides in many ceremonial occasions, including presidential inaugurations, most recently the inauguration of President George W. Bush in 2001. Members attend a mandatory weekly five-hour drill, which includes basic military skills and a U.S. Army Horse Cavalry Drill. They also serve a mandatory eight-day horse training period annually at the National Guard Training Facility in Niantic, CT. Troopers average well over 500 hours each of volunteer service in addition to their drill training. Their current missions include a riding program for special needs adults called Saddle Up for Life, and many charitable community support activities, which include St. Jude's Children's Hospital Cancer Research, and the F.A.I.T.H. Food Pantry that receives donations from the Troop's annual Turkey Trot benefit ride. The group recently helped to raise funds in order to purchase orphaned Premarin Foals, saving them from slaughterhouses in Canada. The Second Company Governor's Horse Guard headquarters are located at 4 Wildlife Drive in Newtown. For more information about the troop and the horse show, phone 203-426-9046, or see their web site, www.thehorseguard.com. For more information on spring scenery and activities and a free copy of UNWIND, a 112-page color guide to lodging, dining and all the attractions in the region, contact the Northwest Connecticut Convention & Visitors Bureau, P.O. Box 968, Litchfield CT 06759-0968, 800-663-1273, call 800-663-1273 or "visit Northwest Connectiucut website!"