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Trail ride set for Saturday

Blake-Cliff Stables opened in 1995 on 425 acres of scenic land in Maiden.
The private business focused on buying and selling Paso Fino horses, an expensive Venezuelan breed known for its level gait.
“They’re the smoothest horses in the world,” said owner George McKee.
Since its inception, the stables have expanded in more ways than one.
There are currently more than 40 Paso Fino horses housed at the site, and local horses have also started boarding there.
A Family Fun Day held on the land drew in 350 people last year, and this year boasts camps and trail rides at the once private farm.
“We’re anxious to get people out here,” McKee said.
The first of the trail rides is Saturday at 10 a.m. The event will last until 1 p.m. and include lunch.
Interested riders can bring their own horses or ride the stable’s own Paso Finos.
Cost is $10 per person for the general public and free to members of the Piedmont Paso Fino Association.
Jaime Sarmiento, the stables’ trainer and manager, will lead both experienced and novice riders through cleared trails.
Riders will enjoy the hilly terrain, creeks, ponds and scenic views.
Several other trail rides will be organized throughout the year.
The year’s first camp took place April 20-22. Sarmiento taught a local Boy Scout troop about horse care and maintenance.
The boys learned vocabulary, the history of Paso Fino horses, how to feed and ride the horses and they even rolled up their shirt sleeves and cleaned a stable or two.
Both boys and girls ages 7 to 12 have an opportunity to attend two more camps. They will be held June 15-17 and July 27-29. The camps last from 8 a.m.-1 p.m. each day.
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Want to go? A trail ride will be held at Blake-Cliff Stables, located at 5100 E. Maiden Road in Maiden at 10 a.m. Saturday. Lunch will last from noon to 1 p.m. Current coggins are required. The price is $10 for the general public. A rain date is set for Sunday. For more information call (704) 483-7330.
by Sarah Grano

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