Wife of '29 alumnus to fund equestrian program

by Hannah Plotkin | 11/18/04 6:00am

Horseback riding is an expensive pursuit, and it's not every child who asks for a pony and gets one. For Dartmouth students who couldn't pursue their love of riding because of the expense, a recent donation from a prominent equestrian could change the situation.

Horsewoman Helen Naylor recently donated funds to the College's riding program to permit students who lack sufficient resources to participate in equestrian activities.

While Dartmouth students receive financial aid from the College in correlation to their needs, this does not cover activities such as riding. The development of the Helen Naylor Equestrian Fund will make sure expense is no longer an issue for those interested.

Naylor established the fund in honor of her late husband, George Martin Naylor Jr. '29. As competitive riding had always been a central part of her life, she appreciated her husband's support in her athletic pursuits throughout her lifetime, including the annual New England Hunter Trials.

The fund's establishment is not Naylor's first gift to Dartmouth riders -- that came in the form of a live animal, not money. Maestro, Naylor's champion horse, became a resident at Morton Form earlier this year when she presented him to the equestrian program. Students' excitement at Maestro's arrival, according to the College, prompted Naylor to continue donating.

Abby Donahue '06, a co-captain of the varsity equestrian team, expressed the group's appreciation for Naylor's continued interest in their program.

"The equestrian team is very grateful to Mrs. Naylor for her generosity. Her donated horse Maestro is a new favorite at the barn because he is so talented and well-mannered," Donahue said. "The Dartmouth riding program is lucky to have such a kind benefactor."

In addition to the varsity team, Morton Farm also hosts the club dressage team and provides lessons to students for physical education credit. The team is currently ranked No. 1 in its region, which consists of 11 colleges and universities in the northern New England area.

Naylor's contribution is hoped to make a significant difference in the future of the College's riding program.