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>  News Releases >   2004 >   November

New equestrian fund for Dartmouth College

Dartmouth College Office of Public Affairs • Press Release
Posted 11/17/04 • Contact Susan Knapp (603) 646-3661

Mrs. Helen Naylor, a prominent horsewoman who has traveled the world with her Canadian-bred, champion draft horse Maestro, has donated funds to Dartmouth College to establish a program to advance the institution's riding program.

Mrs. Helen Naylor with her champion draft horse Maestro
Mrs. Helen Naylor with her champion draft horse Maestro (Photo Courtesy Mrs. Naylor)

Mrs. Naylor's late husband, George Martin Naylor Jr., graduated from Dartmouth (Class of 1929), which is one of the reasons why Mrs. Naylor decided to establish the fund at Dartmouth College. Competitive riding has been Mrs. Naylor's life passion and during their years of marriage, her husband enthusiastically supported her efforts to compete in the New England Hunter Trials every year, where field hunters are tested for jumping skills and steady behavior in the woods and fields. Earlier this year Mrs. Naylor presented her champion horse Maestro to Dartmouth College's riding program, which operates under the direction of Sally Batton.

While deserving Dartmouth students receive all of the demonstrated financial support they need to attend Dartmouth College, such funds do not enable them to participate in activities such as riding that require additional fees. Mrs. Naylor's gift has been set up specifically for Dartmouth students who cannot afford the costs of participating in the equestrian programs to do so. She hopes to increase her gifts for years to come.

Sally Batton, the director of riding at Dartmouth's Morton Farm, the Intercollegiate Riding Team Coach and IHSA National Steward, is very excited about the support this fund provides to Dartmouth's riding program.

"This special fund will provide Dartmouth students who otherwise may not have been able to participate with the means to learn and compete in the intercollegiate level," said Ms. Batton, who has worked in the riding program for over 13 years.

Begun in the 1930s as "The Boots & Saddles Club," the riding team at Dartmouth is a varsity sport open to men and women riders from walk/trot to the open level, and has been competing since 1984 within the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association (IHSA).  There are currently 23 students on the team, including the '04-'05 team captains Abby Donahue and Janelle Moerlein. The entire team competes in Zone I, Region 2, which is made up of 11 colleges and universities in the northern New England area, including the University of Maine, University of Vermont, and University of New Hampshire. The Dartmouth team is ranked number one in its region and is headed to the IHSA National Championships to be held the first weekend in May 2005.

Mrs. Naylor, a former member of the Norfolk Hunt, Dover, Mass., and current member of the North Country Hounds group of Woodstock, Vt., said she decided to create this fund after she saw the attention her beloved horse Maestro was receiving from the students in the program.

"Maestro's happiness at being ridden by the Dartmouth students and being loved by them prompted me to start this special fund. It makes a lot of people happy and horses too," said Mrs. Naylor.

For more information on the Dartmouth Riding Program or the Helen Naylor Equestrian Fund, please contact Sally Batton at (603) 646-3508. For more information visit the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association website.

Dartmouth has television (satellite uplink) and radio (ISDN) studios available for domestic and international live and taped interviews. For more information, call 603-646-3661 or see our Radio, Television capability webpage.

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