Spring 2017 Spring Newsletter





BRLA 2016 Barn Tour
(Photos courtesy Lara Ward)


THE BRLA BARN TOUR visited six beautiful equestrian properties in Bedford and North Salem. We finished up with lunch and Hunter Derby demonstration at Buxton Farm NY, presented by Heather Hays. Perfect Fall day! Thanks to all the property owners and 150 guests who turned out to support the BRLA. 

One of the beautiful barns on the tour belonged to Martha Stewart and she mentioned the BRLA Barn tour in her blog yesterday. 

"A Barn Tour at My Cantitoe Corners Farm"

"A lovely autumn day for a Barn Tour through the Bedford, New York area."  Read more..



The Town of Bedford Police Department is proud to announce the recent acquisition of a Polaris Ranger 6x6 Utility Terrain Vehicle (UTV). The Ranger was purchased by a Town of Bedford resident, who wishes to remain anonymous at this time. This vehicle will enable emergency responders to traverse terrain which would not normally be accessible by traditional emergency vehicles currently in the Police Department.


Charlotte Kooyman and Bedford Police
BRLA's Charlotte Kooyman with Bedford Police & new UTV


"Competing in this Year's Bedford Pace"

The BRLA Pace held on May 25th is featured today in Martha Stewart's Blog.  "Time for the annual Bedford Pace!  "Twice a year, a horse competition fund-raiser is held in the northern Westchester, New York area called the Bedford Pace. It’s run by the Bedford Riding Lanes Association (BRLA), which is a publicly supported, non-profit organization that maintains and develops more than 100-miles of historic equestrian trails running through beautiful private properties near my Bedford home."  Read more... 



Harry Evarts and Sal Mastropolo - Bridge at Beaver Dam
This bridge in the Beaver Dam Sanctuary was recently rebuilt
by Harry Evarts and Sal Mastropolo.

BRLA Fall 2015 Newsletter (pdf)

BRLA President Monique Schulman and BRLA Board Member Betsy Perreten were featured on Martha Stewart's blog as they competed in Monday's Memorial Day Pace. Martha herself is an equestrian and the owner of beautiful Friesian horses, shown here. We would like to thank Martha for her continuing interest in our trails, and also her generous donation of a basket of cooking products to this year's raffle.

Link to Martha Stewart's Blog

BRLA 2014 Memorial Day Pace
BRLA 2014 Memorial Day Pace


BRLA Spring 2015 Newsletter (pdf)

BRLA Fall 2014 Newsletter (pdf)

BRLA President Monique Schulman and BRLA Board Member Betsy Perreten were featured on Martha Stewart's blog as they competed in Monday's Memorial Day Pace. Martha herself is an equestrian and the owner of beautiful Friesian horses, shown here. We would like to thank Martha for her continuing interest in our trails, and also her generous donation of a basket of cooking products to this year's raffle.

Link to Martha Stewart's Blog
BRLA 2014 Memorial Day Pace

BRLA 2014 Memorial Day Pace

BRLA's Fall 2013 Newletter (pdf)

"Hunter Pace", written by Nicki Esdorn (pdf)
United States Icelandic Horse Congress Quarterly


An article from the current issue of the BEDFORD MAGAZINE.

"The Bedford Riding Lanes Association fall pace kicks off September 8.  The venerated BRLA maintains and develops the historic system of trails that extend and connect over 100 linear miles of horse-friendly trails in Bedford, Pound Ridge, and beyond.  The organization dates back to the 1920s, and includes the late horsey luminaries Wilhelmine Waller, a lifelong supporter of show horses; Gerald Nielsen, owner of Sunnyfield Farm; and Marilyn Simpson, who transformed the Private Lanes Association into the present day BRLA. ..." - Eve Marx


New BRLA Equipment

New BRLA Equipment
  New BRLA Equipment

New BRLA Equipment -- Thanks to all of those who generously donated to help us replace all of the BRLA equipment. 

Spring Cleaning Begins
Spring Cleaning Begins!

 Catherine Gillet and her horse Murphy  



Photo by Catherine Gillet from the saddle of her horse Murphy, a Belgian X, in the Beaver Dam Sanctuary.



BRLA volunteer out clearing trails in the snow Jan. 2013

BRLA volunteer out clearing trails in the snow, January 2013. 
Thanks for your dedication!

An Important Appeal to the BRLA Community

We would like to make our membership aware of a recent accident which resulted in a total loss of much of our essential BRLA equipment. On November 21, 2012 a vehicle (whose driver was asleep at the wheel) struck our truck while parked. Our 2007 pickup truck, 2012 utility trailer and 2004 John Deere Gator were totally demolished. We also lost several chain saws and miscellaneous smaller items.   Read more.... 


BRLA 2012 Barn Tour

The 2012 Barn Tour was a delight for the eyes with magnificent barns, gorgeous art and a beautiful dressage demonstration.  Thank you to all of our guests, sponsors, donors, volunteers and barn owners. What a wonderful day!

BRLA 2012 Barn Tour

Read more about the BRLA 2012 Barn Tour here.


BRLA Trail Access

Deer Managment begins Oct. 1st

This fall, beginning on October 1, 2012, Westmoreland Sanctuary will begin the fourth year of its Deer Management Program (DMP) to reduce and control the size of our resident deer herd.   The DMP is carried out through a controlled hunt during the New York State Regular Deer Hunting Season (Oct 1-Dec 31).Westchester County (Region 3S) is a Bow-only Wildlife Management Unit under NYSDEC hunting regulations. Our recruited hunters follow NYSDEC hunting regulations, as well as the rules and regulations set forth in our DMP. No one outside of our management team is permitted to hunt on Westmoreland Sanctuary property. If you suspect illegal hunting, suspicious, or improper activity on Westmoreland Sanctuary property, please report your detailed observations to our office at 914-666-8448.

Westmoreland Sanctuary's nature center and trail system will remain open to visitation while deer management activities are in progress. Hunting zones and No Hunting zones will be established within the Sanctuary's boundaries. Visitors to Westmoreland will be able to familiarize themselves with the location of Hunting and No Hunting zones via a map posted on the kiosk and signage on the trails. Visitors may explore the trails through the Hunting zones, but will do so with the knowledge that deer management activities are currently in progress in those areas.

If you have questions about White-tailed Deer, the health of our local ecosystems, or the Deer Management Program, please call the office or send an email. For more information about Westmoreland Sanctuary, explore our website to learn about upcoming events, join our email list, or connect with us on Facebook.






West Nile Virus detected in a Westchester Co., NY Horse

West Nile Virus (WNV) was confirmed on serologic samples from a twenty nine year old mare this week. The horse had no travel history outside of Westchester County. The mare hadn’t been vaccinated for EEE or WNV in at least a year or more according to veterinary records. The horse had a current Rabies vaccination status. On 9-20-12, the mare had a fever and didn’t appear well according to the owner. The owner called the veterinarian to come examine the mare. By the time the veterinarian arrived, the horse was severely ataxic, neurologic and eventually went down. Due to the rapid decline in overall condition, the owner and veterinarian agreed to humanely euthanize the mare that afternoon. Blood and cerebrospinal fluid was sent to the NYS Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory last week where West Nile Virus was confirmed.

We are reminding veterinarians and horse owners that it is not too late in the year to consider vaccinating horses in NYS for West Nile and EEE if they haven’t been vaccinated in the last several months. Young, old or pregnant animals may be at increased risk. This year, we have had a lot of positive arboviral activity around the state through mosquito surveillance. In our neighboring states, EEE and West Nile cases have been reported as well in both humans and animals.

The NYS Department of Agriculture and Markets has a new twitter account for your clients to follow on the latest news and updates from the department. Follow us at: @NYAgandMarkets. Our e-Alerts to accredited veterinarians will continue to be sent out regularly.

Courtney L. McCracken, DVM
Veterinarian 2
Program Manager: Equine, Outreach, Accreditation
Foreign Animal Disease Investigations, Aquaculture
NYS Department of Agriculture & Markets
Division of Animal Industry


  Scott Vigliotti getting the trails ready for the BRLA pace on Monday May 28
Scott Vigliotti getting the trails ready for the BRLA pace on Monday,
May 28th

  Luuk Kooyman weedwacks amon the flox as he readies the pace jumps.

Luuk Kooyman weedwacks among the flox as he readies the pace jumps.

Here is a great before and after shot of a "just groomed" trail as Spring Cleaning proceeds along the BRLA. Be sure to sign up for Trail Cleanup Day on April 28, 2012! Your hard work will be rewarded by many more beautifully groomed trails and also by lunch afterwards at the Torres!

    Trail before cleanup        Trail after cleanup
                                  Photo by Scott Vigliotti, BRLA Trail Man

March 8, 2012 - Betsy Perreten gives a "thumbs up" to Scott Vigliotti as he carefully lowers a log into place with support from Marian Torre, Julie Testwuide and Luuk Kooyman. Adopt-A-Trail has moved into a new area near Beaver Dam Farm as they push valiantly onwards in their mission of fixing as many jumps as possible this winter season. Be sure to thank them all when you see them!

February 16
- The Adopt a Trail Committee has made it down to the Lower Beaver Dam Sanctuary, off of Beaver Dam Road. They are working on jumps, and cleaning things up in general as they go. They will continue to make their way south. They have been unusually lucky with the weather, as you can see in their latest photo. Between all of their hard work and that of our trail man, Scott, we look forward to great conditions and beautiful jumps this spring. Please report any problems you see to our hotline, 914-234-BRLA. With such a large network of trails we need as many eyes as possible alerting us to problems as they arise.


Testimonial on new jump.

 Adopt-a-Trail Feb. 2012 

The Adopt a Trail committee is hard at work building jumps. This natural log jump replaces the old coop in the Upper Beaver Dam Saunctuary. The crew has been able to get out weekly during the mild weather we have been having. We thank them for their enthusiasm and persistance1 Our organization benefits greatly from the work of these devoted volunteers.


The Adopt a Trail committee was out on January 25th for their weekly volunteer mission of helping to improve our trails. They have been lucky this year to have a lot of good days to go out. They focused this time on the Upper Beaver Dam Sanctuary, which is across Rt. 22 from Harvey. They were able to cut back a lot of branches, cut up two fallen trees blocking the trail and fix some jumps. The jump in the picture is a coop that has been there for over 30 years that we have repaired extensively over time. However,  the decision to retire the jump we have always referred to as "the big coop" or the "the ugly coop" has been made. You can see it in the photo below. Sometime over the next months Scott and the volunteers will take it down and replace it with some natural logs. When the Memorial Day pace comes in May, we should have some great new and restored jumps over there! Thank you Adopt a Trail committee (and Scott).
         Upper Beaver Dam Sanctuary          Upper Beaver Dam Sanctuary

For the past two Wednesdays in January, the Adopt A Trail crew has been out in the Piney Woods. The crew worked to repair the jumps in the "bowl". This property was the gift of Laurence and Mindy Friedman, who acquired the land so that it would not be developed. A decade ago a number of jumps were erected there, and the crew is working to put them back into tip-top shape. The following week, when I could not be there, the group continued on through Piney Woods using their many talents to repair and replace jumps throughout. We are very grateful to this energetic group of volunteers who love and appreciate the trails and go out whenever possible with Scott, with the goal of maintaining and improving our remarkable and historic trail system. A huge thank you to these wonderful members! Anyone wishing to join the group, contact Marian Torre at


Scott and Luuk applied the strips to this bridge this week in the Guard Hill area as a safety prerecaution.

Scott and Luuk applied the strips to this bridge this week in the Guard Hill area as a safety precaution.

Adopt-a-Trail crew at work in Westmoreland Sanctuary!

BRLA Adopt-a-Trail
L-R Betsy Perreten, Marian Torre, Gail Gilcher, Klaus Selmayr  and Cindy Feureisen

The picture was taken last week in Westmoreland Sanctuary when a group of us went in to reroute some areas that are having erosion problems, plus put in erosion bars. Scott, Cindy F., Gail G., Klaus S., Betsy P and I were the merry group of workers. It had just poured the night before so the ground was easy to dig in. We will continue to build erosion bars until the ground gets too hard, and then we will move on to building jumps.   This work is not for everybody, but you can't believe how rewarding it is to outsmart the water run-off with the natural look of limbs we find in the woods. To make it more permanent, we stake it in four spots to stabilize the log. It has truly made a difference in many areas of our trail system. With time, we hope people will adopt what we have corrected by learning how to maintain a small section that they will check after a heavy rain.

We all benefit from this project and the sanctuaries are grateful for our help, plus it is terrific exercise. For the riders, you do get a different perspective and appreciation for what our landowners have given to us, and how large an area our trail system covers. Anybody who would like to join us, just e-mail me and l will add you to our list of volunteers. A huge thank you to all who have helped so far. 

Marian Torre 

Adopt a trail

"Adopt a Trail" volunteers were out 1/5/12 to begin repairing jumps along Kathonah's Wood Road.


The Hole has been fixed!

Storm - After

(after) -- see "before" photo below

The Aftermath of the Storm This is Brian Harner helping Scott repair a HUGE hole on our trails. This is the type of damage seen folllowing Hurricane Irene and the torrential rain of the week that followed. Brian and Scott filled the hole with boulders and covered the boulders with Item 4. This is the sort of thing that needs to be attended to following the worst storm in a century. Scott, Brian and Luke Kooyman have been out there 24/7 trying to make every trail safe and passable. Please report problems you see to the hotline, (914)234-BRLA. Please be patient, as this is a long process.




Bob Torre celebrates a major birthday and 20 years of service to BRLA. Details of a fund to honor Bob's contributions to follow soon.






By 11:30 the big tent outside of the beautiful Jay family home will be filling up with all those settling in to enjoy a terrific lunch with great companionship. There will be an amazing raffle and ribbons and trophies for the riders. Fashionable and fun BRLA hats and shirts will be available for purchase. It is a great celebration of all the things we love about the trails, the Homestead and the BRLA, and all are welcome.  If you would like to ride, please register in advance. You can download an entry form from our website,  You can also register for lunch, or buy a lunch ticket the day of the event. We look forward to seeing you there.


BRLA Receives Four New Jumps; New Bridge finally in!
by Terry Bancel

       BRLA Chairman Bob Torre is always on the lookout for any new talent that can help the BRLA. 

        So recently when he visited BRLA landowner Scott Devine, he discovered that Scott enjoys doing some woodworking as a hobby. Quickly the two put it together that this could help the trails. Scott agreed to build us four new jumps, with lumber supplied by Torre Lumber at cost. So with Scott's donated time and skill, we now possess four beautiful roll top-style jumps, 24"-30 in height. Riders and pacers will enjoy these jumps immensely, as they are wide and welcoming. You will find them in the upper and lower Beaver Dam Sanctuaries.

     New jumps at BRLA       New jumps at BRLA

         For some years a rather challenging crossing had discouraged some ridersNew bridge at BRLA from crossing the stream between Route 121 and Aspetong Road. Not any more, though! BRLA member, rider and landowner Marvin Schwartz has given us access to his property there and donated funds for a new bridge. As you can see from the photo, it is both beautiful and wide. It blends nicely into the rustic surroundings and it can be used by riders, walkers and even by the BRLA Gator.
         We would like to express our deep appreciation to both Scott and Marvin for their "above and beyond" efforts that have helped us to improve our wonderful trail system.The generosity of our members and landowners never fails to amaze us!