Moonrise & Fireflies Ride

Saturday, August 21, 2021 

Bonnie Doon Farm ~ Grottoes, VA

Join Us Next Year...

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  • Gates Open at 5 pm

  • Fee - $40.00

  • Please bring your own chairs, table, food, and drinks for tailgating before and/or after the ride...

  • All riders must be checked in and on the trail by 8:15 pm

  • On-site Registration Available 

For more Information, contact Ida Rademacher: 202.277.7415    Ida.rademacher@gmail.com

 

Click here to view this beautiful farm on Google Map and click Here for written directions

FAQ for the Moonrise and Fireflies Ride     2021

 

What is a “Moonrise and Fireflies Ride”?   Some of our riders come from the Endurance Race world, where riding through the night is common using hanging led lights and glow sticks to mark the trail.  This ride was our way of enjoying the fun of sunset and moonrise time of day on horseback.  We also are using this event to help raise funds for the care and upkeep of Glenmore’s pack of foxhounds.  Our brilliant hounds give us such joy.  All the profits from this event will help in their excellent care.

 

How long is the ride?   The course is roughly 5 miles.  At a leisurely pace it will be about 1-2:30 hours.  It is roughly the reverse of last year’s course.

       

What is Bonnie Doon?   Bonnie Doon is a farm in Augusta County on the Middle River and a fixture for Glenmore Hunt.  The O’Donnell family has farmed here for generations currently on about 350 acres.  It was the site of a Civil War battle, the Battle of Bonnie Doon.  A historical retelling of the battle can be seen here.  

 

How technical is the ride?  Footing?  Elevations?  Does my horse need shoes?

Being riverside, most of Bonnie Doon Farm is flat or gentle hills.  The course will take you across one small gravel area, otherwise the ride is on pasture, dirt trail, and some short woods.  BDF may have pastures with cattle.  If so, those pastures’ gates will be manned.  Since it is a working farm some gate-getting may be needed at other spots. Our thoughtful landowners have made every gate reasonably easy to open and close from horseback.  If you prefer to dismount, every gate has a mounting option nearby, such as a stump, coop, or cinder blocks.  If at any point riders want to “head in” to the rigs please make sure you leave every gate as you find it whether opened or closed.  

                                                                                                                            

Is this a guided ride? Can I ride by myself?  The trails will be well marked so you can set out in your own groups, but many Glenmore members will be there and you are free to ride with folks who know the area well.  If you are solo, we’d prefer you hook up with a group that is leaving at the same time you are.  It's best to ride within view of another group. If you’d like us to help you find a group please inquire at check-in or send us a message before the ride.

 

Will we be riding in the dark?   Yes and/or no.  Gates open at 5 for tailgating and for riders who may want to ride early and finish at sundown.  Sundown is at 7:51, and moonrise is at 7:44.  Riders may want to be already on trail to see both of those by horseback.  So, yes, it will be darker after sunset, but the moon will already be up so it should not be full dark.  Plan accordingly.

 

If we ride in our own group, will we get lost? How will it work if it gets really dark? As long as you don't cross the river and/or don't cross a paved road you will not be leaving the area.  The course mostly follows the perimeter of fields and along tree lines, and crosses fields with lit push in posts, but it will be clear where some shortcuts can be made.  Groups will get a course map at check in and asked to carry cellphones with a copy of our ICE phone numbers in your phone.

 

Do we need any special equipment?  Nothing unusual is required.  Most cellphones have a flashlight now and its recommended riders carry one.  Headlamp lights, or battery lanterns ($5 at Walmart) are handy to have at your rig for the end of the ride.  We strongly recommend that each rider carry a flashlight or cellphone just in case an emergency light is needed.  But we suggest riders try to minimize using artificial lights on the ride since both your horse's eyes and your own eyes will be adapted to the decreasing light.  When you turn on flashlights it is harder to see after you turn them off.  Please no gas or flame lanterns.   Wearing a light-colored shirt will make you easier to spot in the darkest part of the ride.  

 

Can we tailgate?   Yes, we encourage you to relax before your ride or even after.   We ask that you bring your own food, drinks, and seating. Please clean up and remove all trash.  No fires or open flame, and no dogs at this event, please.

 

I ride Western. is that okay?   All disciplines are welcomed.  This is a leisurely paced trail ride and is appropriate for all ages, levels, and disciplines.  Be sure and check out our Western Hunts during our hunt season.  They are posted on our Facebook page under events throughout the season.

 

I have been to Bonnie Doon before; can I do the jumps and go into the river?

Some of the deadfall logs are available for jumping as you pass.  Please be mindful of the darkness and other riders if you choose to jump.   The Beach will be available for horses to walk into the river.  The earth near the water is rather soft but the river bed is firm.  

 

My friend wants to come but he/she doesn’t ride.  Can they walk the trail?  

Yes, walking the trail is ok as well.  Walkers need to make sure they stay out of the way of horses as they will have the right of way.  Please use the same registration and indicate you are a non-rider.  Fee is the same.

 

Are there prizes?  Yes!  Everyone who participates will get a completion award.  Additionally, there will be prizes for the BEST LIT horse and rider teams, both adult and junior.  We will have Glenmore Hunt merchandise available, our Moonrise and Fireflies t shirts, and glowsticks and décor options available to purchase on site.