The late Lyle Collins, Owner of the Hotel Mitchell, Plymouth, (now the 53 Stafford Hotel) and the late Edgar Rhode initiated the Plymouth Trail Riders in 1951. That year, 25 equestrians joined the club, which was established for anyone interested in horses and who enjoyed the company of other horse enthusiasts. In the 1960s and 1970s there was also a junior Plymouth Trail Riders Club.
In the first years of the club's existence, members of the Plymouth Trail Riders enjoyed monthly trail rides in the area and rode in various parades. In 1956, the Plymouth Trail Riders initiated a venture known as the "The Kettle Moraine Forest Riding Trail, Inc".
Club members contributed two-thirds of the funds required to pay the state for cutting, building and marking bridle trails in the Northern Kettle Moraine State Forest. Several members also helped in install and maintain the trail system. Presently, club members continue to assist with maintenance of the trails and buildings.
Members also contributed funds and volunteer time for building the horse shelter at Horseman's Park. They also contributed seed money toward a fund for the people shelter at Horseman's Park in New Prospect. And through a combined effort with the Wisconsin Horse Trails Council and other groups, individual camping became available, with room to keep camper's horses at Horseman's Park.
In 1957 members hosted their first annual open horse show at the Sheboygan County Fair grounds in Plymouth. The fund raising event is open to the public free of charge, however, contestants pay a fee.
The event started out at the fair grounds, then for a few years it was held at the Lyle Collins ranch on Sumac Road. The in 1972 members of our club and the members of the Moraine Riders built a ring at the fair grounds for the annual horse show. The open horse show has been held there ever since.
The annual show includes a class for the club members. The family of the late Edgar Rhode has sponsored an Edgar Rhode memorial trophy to the club member who wins the most events.
In the mid 1960s several members of the Plymouth Trail Riders were impressed by articles of the Green-Mountain Ride, a three-day, 100-mile ride in Vermont and the western states and a 100 mile one day ride which appeared in "Western Horseman". They set out to prove that there were still horses and riders as tough as their pioneer ancestors. They had available over 50 miles of trail they had helped build in the Kettle Moraine State Forest to sponsor such an event.
"Plymouth Trail Riders"
by Connie Langjahr
We have completed another successful year of horse activities which included our annual spring open horse show, various group rides, several guest speakers at our monthly meetings, trail maintenance and our annual banquet. A big thank you to our club officers, board members and the members that have worked so hard to make it all happen.
The Plymouth Trail Riders club was organized in 1951 and helped to establish the first horse riding trails in the Northern Kettle Moraine State Park. Today our club's mission is to continue to promote horsemanship by providing the opportunity for horsemen to get together socially and educationally through horse related activities. We are a non-profit organization, affiliated with the Wisconsin State Horse Council and the Northern Kettle Moraine Horse Trail Association. We also donate money to other horse related organizations including the Sheboygan County 4-H, R.E.I.N.S, U.W.-Wis Vet School, Free Spirit Riders, Pony Club and Amazing Grace Horse Sanctuary.
Some of our goals are to promote, preserve, and protect equine riding trails and other equine interests. Our current projects are continuing work with developing and maintaining the equine trails in the Northern Kettle Moraine State Park, Kohler-Andrae and Walla Hi parks.
With cooperation of the Manitowoc County Parks and Planning we constructed and installed two new kiosks this spring at Walla Hi Park. We made new maps of all the existing trails, including the hiking trails and have them displayed in the kiosks. Also more trail signs and markers were installed.
This year our banquet is Saturday, Feb. 18 at Racers Hall with a silent auction and music. Anyone interested in attending should contact us for details at firstname.lastname@example.org
Be sure to mark your calendar for our open horse show on Sunday, May 21st.
We hold monthly meetings the first Tuesday of each month, 6:30 pm at Racer's Hall in Plymouth, WI. Food and refreshments are available at cost so come early for supper.
New members and guests are welcome. Visit us on the web at www.plymouthtrailriders.org