Horse shows were held at Maplecroft Farm on Essex Rd. from 1952 through 1955, sponsored by Ipswich Rotary. Known as “harnecues,” the two-day events combined harness racing with barbecues to augment the Rotary student loan fund and benefit Cable Memorial Hospital‘s building fund, and featured class A equestrian events for children and adults.
Maplecroft Farm at that time was the oldest harness-horse breeding farm in New England. Owner Neil Raymond was a horse racer and donated the use of his land for the events, lining up professional racers for competition. Dozens of Rotary members would arrive about a week before to set everything up. In addition to harness racing, members of the Myopia Hunt club demonstrated riding skills, and television star Rex Trailer and his pal Pablo provided entertainment.
The images below were taken by Peter Zaharis, courtesy of Jim Tedford and Ted Raymond. Information is from the May 24,1973 Ipswich Chronicle.
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