GSCA Board of Directors 2022

President:  Leslie Baxter   lakevue100 @comcast.net
Vice President:  Cindy Schlener   cindy.schlener @charter.net
SecretaryAvis Rosenfield     ironshoes2013 @gmail.com
TreasurerNeil Harvey    robnharvey3 @aol.com
DirectorMary-Jo Handley   mjhandley17 @gmail.com
DirectorConnie Moses    cmoses @metrocast.net
DirectorMichael Prange   prange @alum.mit.edu   

 

Meet recent  Former GSCA Officers and Hosts

 

Leslie Baxter, PresidentBioBaxterLMug

A little about me. I have resided in Manchester all of my life and was very fortunate to have lake Massabesic a mile down the road. I live with my husband Dave and have a grown daughter living close by in Boston. I have owned and cared for horses pretty much all of my life. Competed in many areas from gymkhana, pleasure,
trail classes etc.Leslie KidsCarriage and bought my first Morgan 26 years ago.
   This is where I got into breeding, training and got heavily involved with Carriage driving. I joined up with the Granite State Carriage club and have enjoyed my free time meeting up with new and old friends alike with similar passions for everything horse related. My interests going forward is to stay involved with our club in hopes of keeping this great tradition going for years to come seeing our beautiful state from the seat of my carriage,                                                                  Leslie Baxter
friends nearby, and my little black mare Holly Golightly.                               

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Cindy Schlener, Vice President, Website Admin, Facebook Admin

CindyandGlider

                                                                                                            Glider and Cindy

I grew up on a 60' by 100' plot of land on Long Island, NY and have loved horses all my life. I started riding as a teenager when I was given a lesson as a birthday present and then bought my first horse when I moved up to Massachusetts in my early 20s. 

I was out of horseback riding for a while in my late 20s/early 30s but then got back into it in my mid 30s by buying a horse whom I named Kubla Khan. He was a big Thoroughbred/Hanovarian and loved going fast and jumping anything. Through a lot of hard work, I learned to ride Kubla safely and enjoyed lots of trail rides and hunter paces. 

Even though I took hunt seat and dressage lessons, my real love is trail riding. Exploring new areas, long distance riding and horse camping are the things I look forward to. Thank goodness I discovered GSCA a few years ago which introduced me to horse camping. 

Now you'll see me riding Apollo, a cremello Appendix QH and Glider, a bay OTTB.

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Avis Rosenfield, Secretary starting in 2020

I have owned, raised, trained, shown & evented horses for over 50 yrs. My involvement with & passion for horses has been since childhood & I expect, like Queen Elizabeth, to be riding when I am 90.

I am currently a member of the Rockingham Riding Club, Essex County Trail Association, Southeast land Trust, Bear-Paw Regional Greenways and of course Granite State Carriage Association, where I assisted Cindy Schlener with marking trails for GSCA events.

My leadership experience includes serving as: Past President of the NH Horse Council, Secretary of the Derry Trail Riders for the past five years, Co-Chairperson of the Bear Brook State Park Planning Committee, member of the New Hampshire Horse Council trail committee, and Advisory Board Member for the NH Rail Trails.

I have continued to support the equine community to ensure as lands are transferred into conservation, the Land Trusts consider horses. Assisting the equine community with appropriate landowners to ensure trails remain open & accessible and/or new trails are created. Advising the NH Department of Natural and Cultural Resources (DNCR) as well as NH Division of Parks & Recreation to consider the needs of the equine community, and I am currently working to have horse camping at Bear Brook State Park, and have better access for carriages with trail loops within the park. 

I have traveled throughout the state to attend meetings to enlighten communities of the recreational value of horse owners to the GDP, and will continue to advocate for the horse throughout NH and as I travel to other states with my horses to camp. I will continue to learn their Best Practices for trail development and building relationships with other user groups.

I look forward to serving Granite State Carriage Association as Secretary and look forward to working with the membership.

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   Neil Harvey, Treasurer starting in 2019

As a new member of the Granite State Carriage Association, I wanted to share a little bit about my equine journey.  Deb had a horse as a child. She always wanted to, again, own horses. When our last child went off to college, we bought an old farm in Deerfield. Our idea was that Deb would ride horses and I would restore the old barns. I knew nothing about horses, but gradually got interested. At the age of sixty, I brought home my first horse, a 2 year old quarter horse. We have been training and riding our horses for the last seven years, though Deb has always had an interest in driving.

We rode on our own, and with local friends and riding clubs. Then, a couple of years ago, we went on a couple of GSCA trips. We liked the people and destinations, so we joined GSCA as riders. Then, this past spring, a good friend lent us an older 36” mini that drove. He came with a couple of carts and two bags of harnesses. With help, I sorted through the driving gear and got him back into driving. Last summer, with help from the GSCA, we went out as drivers, and had a blast!

This past fall our little mini went back to his previous owner. So, I brought home a Newfoundland pony, which I am training to drive and skijor. Deb continues to drive her Morgan, and is also skijoring. We plan to continue our journey with horses as long as possible. We enjoy the GSCA tremendously, and hope that our participation (if, even in a small way) helps the group stay strong and grow into the future.

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Mary-Jo Handley, Director starting in 2022    Driving Pair of Belgian horses

I can’t remember not loving horses. And it was my father who nurtured that in me.
One of my earliest memories is riding home with him after taking our household trash to our town’s dump. It was a sticky summer morning when he pulled his International Scout up alongside a corral on the other side of the road and produced two large carrots from his pocket, enticing a couple of “brown” horses to the fence. Suddenly their soft muzzles were coming through the open window and my father was laughing softly. I was enrapt at four years old.


When I was seven, Dad arranged my first summer of riding lessons. Not having the room nor the funds for a horse, that was the beginning of a lesson per week, for which I absolutely lived, for the remainder of my childhood.

It was around the seventh or eighth grade during this formative period that my long-standing
riding instructor told me she had taught me all she could from her soft, pine tree-lined side yard ring. She recommended to me an instructor named Keith at a fru-fru hunter-jumper barn a few towns away. On the day of my first lesson at the new barn, the chalkboard at the end of the aisleannounced a draft cross who was to be my mount.

More Belgian than Quarter Horse in his conformation and temperament, I think “Jimmy” won me over before I ever got on his back. At 16.2 or so hands this stocky, lightly dappled, barely bay gelding was a sweet-hearted gentleman everywhere he was with me, be it the stall, aisle, indoor arena, outside jumping field, or cross-country course at that fru-fru barn. Keith told me I was the only one who could keep Jimmy cantering in a lesson on the flat, which astounded me because he seemed to be having as much fun as I was! And so it went that glorious summer and into the fall.

One weekday afternoon, having just arrived for my lesson, I was stunned to find that Jimmy’s owner had moved him to another barn. In that moment where my heart felt like it was at my knees, I vowed to someday have a sweet-hearted Belgian of my own.

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Connie Moses, Director starting in 2019, Website Admin since 2012

 Connie Moses, Vice President, Granite State Carriage Club

Connie        

Carriage driving horse pair, Connie Moses

The Moses' Perch-Arab driving
pair in Acadia National Park

 

 

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 pleasure pair, sometimes in a tandem hitch, at many GSCA outings. Their favorite place for driving was Acadia National Park, for 28ish years and to the top of Mount Washington Carriage Road in 2011.

Connie served as GSCA President 2010-2014, and interim VP in 2015, helping since 2012 with the club's printed communications, the GSCA Facebook group, and creating this website. Her background is in graphic arts and she enjoys photography, sculling, and playing pickleball. Her other furry friends included many cats and two successive wonderful English Setters, Freckles and Peaches. Connie and Rick now have a new half-grown rescue kitten named Hermione.

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Michael Prange, Director starting in 2022    PrangeHorsebackMed

Michael Prange retired in 2017 from a career as a research scientist in geophysics. He and his wife, Anne, moved to her childhood home in Shelburne, NH, to begin a new life on 120 acres with two horses, two pack llamas, chickens, bees, four cats, and a wonderful trail dog. He actively trains and competes in endurance with his Rocky Mountain horse, Dancer.

He is certified, along with Dancer, with the Maine Mounted Search & Rescue Team, where he is a training officer and on the board of directors. He is president of the Shelburne Trails Club, which creates and maintains hiking trails in Shelburne, NH. Michael has been an active member of the GSCA for three years, and was part of the team that made the 2021 Presidential Rail Trail ride a success. With a personal focus on both training and trail riding, as Director he would work with members to add new training clinics and trail outings to the GSCA calendar. 

Michael Prange

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Appointed Positions


Eric Wilking, appointed Senior Advisor in 2022

Eric Wilking, Treasurer Granite State Carriage ClubEric the Navigator, also
GSCA Auctioneer
Since our application to become members of Granite State Carriage Association many years ago... way too many to count… my wife Linda and I have been all about what we can do to give back to the driving and riding community. From hosting the Manchester Water Works event in Auburn 2006-2018, to helping with the Myles Standish and Acadia National Park events throughout the years, it has always been about helping others enjoy their horses and camaraderie.


Over the years, Linda and I went on to develop and host a series of three Arena Driving Trials each year in Brentwood, for the past 5 years. Those that attend all enjoy the Pickpocket Farms’ low stress and fun way we approach competition and learning, and can’t wait for winter to end and the spring schedule to be published.


It all started over 10 years ago when I volunteered to help run the FUNd-raising Auction at our Annual Meeting and dinner. From there, I was elected Treasurer in 2013 and served the maximum allowed, 3 terms for a total of 6 years, and in 2019 I was elected Vice President 
of this fantastic organization. GSCA has grown so much over the past 10 years, and our future is bright.


In April 2020, I was appointed Fire Chief and Emergency Management Director for the Town of Exeter.
As you can imagine, those jobs are difficult enough without the current Coronavirus Pandemic.
During the past year— and, as many have already begun to realize, for the foreseeable future — much of my time must be devoted to the citizens of Exeter, the 30 firefighter/EMT’s that work with me, my family, and then of course GSCA.
It comes with mixed emotions that I have asked to step back as your Vice President. I believe the importance of the position deserves someone that can work closely with our outing hosts, create and maintain an annual event calendar that our membership has grown accustomed to, and represent the Granite State Carriage Association on statewide boards, and attend meetings as required.

All that being said, I would like to stay active and contribute to the club.

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Joanna Bligh, Publicity Coordinator, appointed in 2019

BioPix1JoannaBligh               BioPix2JoannaBligh

 

Joanna has been a GSCA member since 2017. In her career, she worked in pharmaceutical advertising as an editor and currently works at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth as a classroom scribe during the school year. Additionally, Joanna does freelance medical editing from her Piermont, NH, home.Regarding her background with horses, Joanna participated during her college years in the equestrian programs at the University of New Hampshire. Afterwards, she spent 40 years riding Thoroughbreds, mainly as trail horses and in competitive riding events. In 2007, she bought a young Morgan mare and started her in carriage driving. Since then, with her mare, Joanna has attended competitive driving events (25 miles in 4.25 hours) and carriage combined test events (dressage tests and cones courses). Joanna noted about her Morgan, “I have to say, I have never had such a wonderful horse as my Morgan mare. She’s easy to train, easy to care for, and always ready to do anything I ask of her. A perfect pairing for my retirement years!”

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Ginger Laplante, GSCA Newsletter Editor, Senior Advisor, Historian, founding and Lifetime member - starting in 1978

Ginger Laplante, antique horse buggy driver GSCAGinger's antique buggy and her Canadian driving horse, Punk

I sold my war bonds in 1953 to buy my first horse, a lovely six year old sorrel quarter horse/Saddlebred mare, for $150 when I was seventeen. I also bought my first antique vehicle that year, a lovely cutter for $15. Both were the first of many. I continued to collect antique vehicles and taught myself to drive a few years later using antique books on the subject and ever since have driven over country roads, at GSCA events and at a variety of interesting places such as Acadia National Park.

In 1978 my husband and I became two of the founders of the Granite State Carriage Association and their first event was held at our farm, Canterbrook, in Canterbury, New Hampshire that year. A few years later I began the newsletter and have been its editor ever since as well as serving in various office positions in earlier years.

I presently have two older mares a Canadian and a Standardbred but find that I am doing less driving as I get older. However, there is usually at least one GSCA event at Canterbrook each year to carry on the tradition. 

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