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August 09, 2007

Not horsing around: enthusiasts ride out new ideas

Franklin horse tour
The Southerlands, from left to right, Luke, Jocelyn and Rob, take time during the Franklin County Horse Farm Tour Aug. 4 to feed a horse on the first stop of the tour. The Southerlands were joined by about 100 other folks who braved heat to tour three horse farms in Franklin County to get ideas on fencing, bedding and housing. (Franklin Times photo by Carey Johnson)

(Reprinted with permission from The Franklin Times.)

The heat and attendance were as high as the passion for horses this past Saturday as equine enthusiasts gathered for the 13th annual Franklin County Horse Farm Tour.

More than 100 people attended this year’s event, receiving a tour of three horse farms noted for their diversity.

A caravan of about two dozen cars snaked their way through the county, stopping first at Paradox Sport Horse located off U.S. Highway 401 south of Louisburg.

The barn-in-progress is a project by Dr. Barbara Burggraaff. The stop also featured a horse-jumping demonstration.

The second stop showcased Barbara Robison’s handmade farm in Youngsville, some new fencing and no-till seeding of pastures.

The third stop highlighted Earl Haga’s Blossom Farm, a new facility for lease on Timberlake Road. It also featured some tips from Dr. David Green, a large-animal veterinarian.

Also, Youngsville businessman E. Carroll Joyner introduced a new horse bedding that is being tested at several Franklin County farms. He plans to develop the product in coming months.

“The farms showcased a variety,” said Cooperative Extension Agent Martha Mobley. “We had the really expensive ones to the ones made from a carport. You see $50,000 horses, and they’re still happy and safe in a converted carport. And we had the handmade barn to the custom pre-fabricated farm.

“It just gives people a bunch of new ideas,” Mobley said. “It’s a chance to showcase new farms and facilities and learn from others.”

It was that opportunity that brought Jamie Colley and his wife, Julie, from their Raleigh home to Franklin County’s horse farm tour.

Julie Colley has been taking riding lessons for about a year and is considering getting her own horse. She said she wanted a better idea of the type of responsibility it takes.

“I’ve been thinking about it a while,” she said. “With this tour, you get to ask questions and find out what’s involved. That’s what is so good about this.”

Mobley figured it was that sort of inquisitiveness that brought the crowd out to tour horse farms in temperatures that approached 100 degrees.

“It was a fabulous turnout,” said Mobley.

The tour concluded with a pig-picking lunch at Joyner Park in Louisburg.

-Carey Johnson, Times Staff Writer

Posted by Natalie at August 9, 2007 08:36 AM