TRIBUTE TO SONJA CAHILL

(the late) Sonja Cahill and her husband Bob were founders and original hosts of Chocorua, NH "Look to the Mountain" camping venue for 18 years. They were also founders and original hosts of the Shelburne Farms Outing, the "Northeast Kingdom" camping venue, and a Greenfield, NH camping outing. Sonja also had served in every GSCA office, and was honored as a GSCA Lifetime member.

Cart horse driving, harness horse and carriageMiss Breezy takes Sonja
and Bob C. for a drive
   Sonja rides her mustang Shy BoySonja, Lifetime Member, on her mustang
Shy Boy, aka. Chance

 

Sonja Cahill passed away on Sunday June 20, 2021. She will always be remembered with love by so many GSCA folks and everyone else who knew her. Below are her own comments about herself and Bob:

"I have been a Granite State Carriage Association member for nearly 30 years. When I joined, I was a competitive long-distance trail rider and driver looking for some "pleasure" events when taking a break from competition. GSCA was introduced to me as a recreational driving and riding club whose motto is to “Drive and Ride Just for the Fun of it.” And fun it has been ever since. My husband Bob and I now drive and ride leisurely at the many wonderful outings offered throughout the year by GSCA.

"Since retiring from competition, we have been very involved with the organization which includes hosting many events ourselves especially the Chocorua, NH and Greenfield, NH  drives and rides. From 1996 to 2002, I was president of the club and now serve on the Board. We truly enjoy and are committed to this wonderful organization and have met many like-minded enthusiasts who take pleasure in the well organized GSCA outings in some of the most beautiful New England locations one might not have experienced otherwise."

 

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REMEMBERING SONJA CAHILL— HORSEWOMAN EXTRAORDINAIRE

Sonja Cahill, a beloved member of GSCA almost since its inception in 1978, left this world attended by her loving and devoted husband Bob and close family members. Sonja had been diagnosed in fall of 2020 with an acute form of myeloid leukemia.

Sonja was an extraordinary person and horsewoman, whom I loved sharing horse experiences with for many years. I want to relate some highlights of Sonja’s contributions to the Granite State Carriage Association. She was typically modest about her achievements but always offered a helping hand.

Sonja was honored as a Lifetime Member of GSCA years ago, having served on the Board of Directors in every official capacity since joining, for over 30 years. She was named as a GSCA Senior Advisor in 2014 (ongoing), maintaining active participation and encouraging newer members in many ways. She (and Bob) received GSCA’s year-end Participation Award seven times, more than any other recipient.

In 2000, Sonja and Bob founded the popular “Look to the Mountain” camping outing near Mt. Chocorua in Tamworth, NH, hosting Chocorua for 18 years. They also were the initiators and first hosts of the multi-day Shelburne Farms Drive/Ride in 1999. AND they started the Northeast Kingdom club camping outing which was held for many years in Danville, Vermont.

Being steeped in the club’s history, she submitted photos for, helped organize, and wrote the GSCA’s 30th Anniversary Album in 2008, and she also presented a slide show look-back for the 40th Anniversary Dinner Meeting.  In 2012 Sonja contributed hugely to getting GSCA’s website started.

Her involvement with horses was lifelong. In the “early years” Sonja did competitive endurance riding, and rescued at least two mustangs. Horses were her love and passion— she actively rode and drove up until this past year when she became too incapacitated, and then she would not schedule treatments for herself until she found caring situations for both her horses.

I’d guess that Sonja and Bob never missed a GSCA Annual Meeting/Dinner. As I know personally she assisted and offered guidance to Board officers and Directors whenever it was needed. She gave freely of her time, her vast knowledge and experience, her resources, and her good will to help GSCA grow through the years.

Sonja Cahill was admired and loved by too many to count. She is sorely missed by Rick and I and members of the club.

by Connie Moses

 

Jean Harvey, past President, served for 6 years-- 2016-2022

Jean Harvey currently lives on and operates a horse farm in Enfield, NH. Horses have been a large part of her life since her early teens. Now as a young senior, carriage driving is her passion both for pleasure and competing.

Jean has been an active member of GMHA, CAA, ADS, GSCA, and PATH Intl. As an instructor, she enjoys teaching and promoting the sport of carriage driving. Most recently she has become involved in harness racing!

BioJLHarveyMug1Jean Harvey

Jean Harvey's driving pony Pixie, pony cartJean Harvey and her driving pony Pixie

 

Linda and Eric Wilking cohosted Auburn, NH/ Manchester Waterworks Outing 2008-2018.
Eric Wilking served as Treasurer 2013-2018, Vice-President 2018-2020, and was a Director in 2021. In 2022 he was appointed Senior Advisor.

      Host Linda W.  Linda W.   Host Eric W.  Eric W.

Linda driving through an ADT hazard
 
with fearless navigator Eric.

Linda driving an Arena driving trial hazard

Linda has always been a horse lover. As a kid she was the typical barn rat doing anything to be able to ride. It was not until Linda was 42 years old that we were able to buy our first horse. Nashin was a 15 yr old Arab gelding that took our son Christopher to 4-H highest award, best in the state, and to the BIG E three times.

We bought Clydascope "Clyde" for Linda, a Clyde/TB that rode and drove all over the place. Clyde was a wonderful horse that will never be replaced-- he passed away suddenly at the young age of 13 from colic, every horse person's worst fear.

We have since moved on with many other horses that we drove and rode but driving is our true passion. Spinnaker was our most recent driving mare, she is a Russian Warmblood/Appendix quarter horse. Spinny is a big-boned girl that gave us her all, whether we competed at CDEs or pleasure shows or just hacked on the trails.

We had a standardbred that we were fostering for the NHSPCA, she was a great addition to the barn. The poor thing came to us so thin and afraid of her own shadow! Amazing what a little bit of love and food does for her-- now she loves her retired life. 

 

Terry Penny, former Director

TerryPenny

My husband, Stanley, and I located to Kingston NH, after he left the Navy.  Stanley kept bringing home all types of animals, geese, ducks, chickens, pigs and one day, A HORSE  She was a beautiful golden palomino Quarter Horse from the west.  He then found a 2 year old Quarter Horse/Morgan gelding, which we trained to ride (and without getting killed or maimed).  

We outgrew our home there and moved to Deerfield, NH; we were like grandy youkan's as we moved all the animals in trailers, on top of trucks, etc.  We raised our two children on a homestead there, with the two horses and a Shetland named Black Beauty. She taught our son everything about STAYING on a horse.  Stanley had a collar for her and rigged up a sled out of old skis and panels and she hauled logs and firewood out of the woods for him. She also hauled all the water to the barn for the rest of the animals (We had a small piggery and I won't mention how many other varieties of animals we had).

As our children's lives changed, unfortunately, we had to sell the homestead. We became volunteers at Live and Let Live Farm for many years. Stanley adopted our Morab Mare, Liver Chestnut with a white Blaze (when I was gone of course), named Aurora.  We were too old, and still are, but she is our love.  We have a foster, Seal Bay Quarter Horse that we have spent time, talent and treasure on for coming up for three years and have watched him get well, get healthy, and  Stanley rides him.

 

Denise Reed Gagnon served as Director and Hosted the Snow Games Outing

Hello my name is Denise Reed Gagnon. I live in the Lakes Region of New Hampshire  in Sanbornton NH. I'm married to a wonderful man his name is Greg and I have a grown daughter her name is Cynthia.

 
I was 7 when I got my first pinto pony "French Fry". I've owned horses ever since then. I grew up riding and while living at a foster home discovered driving horses. I fell in love with driving horses for a few years until I went to farrier college after high school.
 
After owning and showing American Paint Horses for over 20 years I rekindled my passion for driving horses again and have fallen in love with combined driving events. I'm excited to see where my journey will take me in 2019 and beyond.

 

 

Corin, trail rider member of Granite State Carriage ClubCorin and Remy
in Vermont
 

Corin Brennan, Media/Facebook Tech Advisor & Website Admin 2012-2020

The first event I attended as a Granite State Carriage member was the 2012 “Look to the Mountain Outing” in Chocorua NH, and I knew that I had found a group that I would love being a part of. I have had horses throughout my entire life; I spent more of my childhood on horseback than I did on my own feet. Growing up on a horse farm in southern NH, I competed in a variety of riding disciplines (English, Western, Eventing, Dressage.) Trail riding has always been what I enjoy most.  

 

Renee Wormell, Past Secretary    

Trail rider Renee Wormell, Secretary Granite State CarriageRenee riding her horse Rafl     

I am a NH native, attended Dover schools and graduated from UNH.  I retired in 2012 from a rewarding career as a paralegal, the last 22 years with the legal department of a local bank.  I am a life-long horse-lover, and these days particularly enjoy communing with nature on a woodsy trail, by a babbling brook.  However, I also school low level dressage and am a carriage driver "wanna-be". 

Bill and I raised two daughters, and several Arabian foals, in Northwood, NH over the past 40+ years.  We all competed in long-distance, competitive trail riding and local pleasure shows.  Bill and I also have a small farm in the foothills of western SC where we spend winters with our two border collies and two horses - my third generation, 18 year old Arabian, and Bill's 16 year old Kentucky Mountain Saddle Horse. Our favorite place to ride is Acadia!  In addition to the joys of riding, I am having great fun training and competing in rally obedience and agility with my young, happy-go-lucky dog, Camdyn.

 

Cresca Albright, past President, Host of Hancock NH outing and BBQs

BioPixCrescaCresca and Sweet Pea Cresca has served the club for many years, including being past President. She has managed the Hancock outing for several years, where participants enjoy a lovely fall setting for camping, and rural dirt roads and railroad bed trails. Hancock features a notable "road cut" originally hand-dug for the train to pass to Sunapee Lake; now our drivers and riders get to pass through on the reclaimed railroad bed.  

 

 

 

 

 

David Herrick served as Director for 6 years

Dave Herrick, DirectorDave   Carriage pair Arena driving, Dave HerrickDave competing his Morgan pair

Dave and his wife Liz enjoy recreational driving with Rhythm and Concert, their Morgan pair, put to an Eagle Carriage. They first joined GSCA in 1990. Dave is also a board member of the New England Region of the Carriage Association of America, the CAA's oldest region.

 

Connie and Rick Moses, founders and first Hosts of Andover, NH/Potter Place Rail Trail Outing. Connie also served as Pres. and VP, designed and helped start GSCA's website in 2012, also GSCA's Facebook Group. Currently she serves as Director.

Connie has been a Granite State Carriage Association member since 1998 and a trail rider since 1992. Connie went from being horse show mom and trail rider to carriage driver. Having bred and trained two carriage horses, she and her hubby Rick drove their pair, sometimes in a tandem hitch, at many GSCA outings.

Connie served as GSCA President 2010-2014, helping since then with the club's printed communications, the GSCA Facebook group, and this website. Her background is in graphic arts and she enjoys photography and playing pickleball. Her other furry friends have included several cats over the years and a wonderful English Setter named Peaches.

Connie driving Gilford and Glendale in Acadia National Park, ME

 

Connie driving home-bred and raised
Gilford and Glendale
in Acadia National Park, ME

 

 

 

Deb and Jim Hunt hosted the Northeast Kingdom Outing

in Danville, VT for many years

Deb on Kyrelle-smallDeb on KyrelleSaSadS Sadly due to fire at owner's home, the NEK outing was canceled in 2015. We still hope a new venue may turn up in the area someday.

Deb & Jim Hunt moved to Danville VT from Newburyport MA in 2004. They were then new members of the Granite State Carriage Association and were amazed to learn that GSCA had held a drive the previous summer in Danville. The Northeast Kingdom drive was new event on the club calendar and the Hunts helped out for several years as understudies for the original hosts, Bob and Sonja Cahill.

Deb's feisty Morgan gelding made the move up from Massachusetts and soon the new Danville home had a 4-stall barn and some pretty nice grass paddocks out back. Jim started riding around then and before long all the stalls were filled. A big Belgian cross driving horse came with an extra-large road cart. A couple of corgis moved in and a Jack Russell terrier too.

The Hunts were looking for rural and a 'real' Vermont community (with a school and a library and a town green, not too many second homes and transplants like themselves). Danville really fit the bill and turned out to be a wonderful horse community as well. The network of quiet town roads, woods, logging and snowmobile trails is great for trail riders and driving horses and the area is very beautiful