Bring your horse when you move to Union County NC. You will find rolling meadows and pastures as well as some communities devoted to the equestrian lifestyle. Once predominantly rural and agricultural, Union County is now in transition, especially along the western edge where suburban growth since 1990 has made it the seventh fastest growing county in the United States. Even with the growth Union County is the third largest producer of agricultural commodities in North Carolina and ranks first in the state in the number of horses. There is still plenty of room in Union County to find your own horse farm, a place to board your horses, or an equestrian community to call home.
Union County NC horse farms once filled the landscape from the county line where the small towns of Weddington and Marvin abut South Charlotte to Waxhaw and beyond. Growth pressures in these areas raised the cost of land and many of the small farms were converted to subdivisions. Most western Union County horse farms are now located deeper in the county. Fewer development pressures in the northern part of Union County allow horse farms and large lot developments to be located closer to Charlotte. The eastern and extreme southern parts of Union County are still rural and agricultural.
Union County NC Equestrian Organizations and Activities
REINS or the Regional Equine Information Network System is the premier organization for providing educational programming and information to the North Carolina Equine Industry. REINS is a program of the North Carolina Cooperative Extension. The program is a collaborative effort between the Extension, volunteers and the equine industry. Union County has its own chapter of REINS.
The Village of Marvin has taken steps to preserve its equestrian heritage. It has adopted one house per acre zoning throughout the village and created a greenway plan that incorporates public equestrian trails throughout the village. Marvin supports and markets an annual horse show called the Marvin Area Recreational Equine Show (MARES). The MARES show takes place in March or April at several horse farms in Marvin.
Union County's premier equestrian event is the Queen's Cup Steeplechase, which takes place the last Saturday in April. Every year for the past thirteen years, thousands of families have tailgated and socialized at Brooklandwood, a 260-acre steeplechase racecourse in Mineral Springs. Development rights to Brooklandwood have been donated to the Catawba Lands Conservancy to permanently protect it from development. Proceeds from the Queen's Cup race are donated to charity.
Cane Creek Park, Union County's largest park, has equestrian trails winding around its lake and through the surrounding wooded hills. Horse camping sites are also available at the park. Cane Creek Park is located south of Waxhaw.
The U.S. Equine Rescue League has a Central Piedmont chapter that is very active in educating horse owners and the public about proper equine care and the problems of neglect. The Central Piedmont chapter mans information booths at many Union County and area community events.
Copyright 2009. Carol Fox. All rights reserved.