The U.S. Dressage Federation, along with the Equine Land Conservation Resource, have announced that Caroline MacNair Carl will be posthumously presented with the 2017 Equine Land Conservation Achievement Award. This award recognizes leaders and advocates who actively engage in land conservation, stewardship and access to land for equine activities; those who work to raise awareness of equine land loss issues; and those who can provide successful, model solutions to their equine land-related issues.
This year’s award presentation by the Equine Land Conservation Resource will be held at the conclusion of the USDF Board of Governors General Assembly, held during the Adequan/USDF Annual Convention in Lexington, Ky., Nov. 29-Dec. 2.
Carl (Nov. 21, 1953-July 24, 2012) was a Raleigh, N.C., native, horse enthusiast and owner of MacNair’s Country Acres, a horseback riding stable that has served the Raleigh community and beyond for almost 50 years. In 2007, the Triangle Business Journal honored Carl for her equestrian school and farm accomplishments, citing MacNair’s Country Acres as one of the very few agricultural businesses to receive a Women in Business Award. Additionally, in 2008, the City of Raleigh awarder her its Sir Walter Raleigh Award for Tree and Landscape Preservation and, in 2012, the Environmental Preservation Award, in recognition of her manifold accomplishments in open space and watershed conservation.
Established as a riding camp and public stable by Carl’s mother in 1965, MacNair’s Country Acres currently offers a full range of riding instruction, as well as access to show competition, nationally acclaimed clinics and one of the largest equestrian 4H Club chapters in the state.
MacNair’s is now located about 1 mile south of its original site, on some 200 acres, located on the western flank of N.C. State University’s 1,100-acre experimental farm. This land is vital to the agricultural education mission of the land-grant university, and its mission is greatly enhanced by a partnership with the non-profit Yates Mill Associates, who have restored the 250-year-old Yates Mill on Steep Hill Creek, at the southeastern point of the research farm.
In order to protect Caroline and her husband Bill Carl’s equestrian arts and environmental legacy, Caroline installed conservation easements on the acreage adjoining Steep Hill Creek and along the streams and ponds on the remainder of the farm. This act of environmental stewardship will help to ensure that MacNair’s Country Acres’ natural equestrian lands, just south of the Raleigh city limits, continue to vividly recall the Wake County agricultural landscape of the 19th and early 20th centuries.
“The exemplary protections placed by Caroline McNair Carl are representative of actions that can be taken in equine communities nationwide to retain and enhance access to horses, as advocated by ELCR’s equine land conservation mission,” said ELCR’s Executive Director Holley Groshek.