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Wagon train clip-clops through area

May 14, 2001

Wagon train clip-clops through area



By LAURA ERNDE

laurae@herald-mail.com

It's called a wagon train, but the real attraction for some people are the four-legged creatures slowly pulling the wagons along.

Big horses, small horses, horses with black and white spots and horses with white flowing manes.

Spectators couldn't get enough of the majestic but approachable creatures when the National Pike Festival and Wagon Train stopped at City Park on Saturday.

John McGilvery, 55, of Washington, said he had never seen a horse up close and personal until he came upon the wagon train while he was in the area on a shopping trip.

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"This is all a treat to me," he said.

McGilvery approached Beauty, a black Percheron weighing in at 1,700 pounds and standing nearly 6 feet tall at the base of her neck.

"Whew. I'm not lyin', I like your horse," he told Christi Baker, 27, of Hagerstown. "That horse is power."

Baker only started riding five months ago after buying the draft horse at an auction.

"We were a little intimidated by her at first," said Baker, but Beauty soon won the family over with her laid-back personality.

On Saturday, Baker's 4-year-old daughter, JoDee Baker, rode with her from Clear Spring to Hagerstown. Spectators at City Park were impressed with the horse's size and some took pictures.

Baker wants to get a wagon for next year's ride.

The small caravan, which included horseback riders and 20 buggies and covered wagons, clippity-clopped its way along the National Pike (U.S. 40), drawing onlookers along the way.

Hagerstown Fire Police were stationed at major intersections around the city to control traffic, which backed up behind the caravan.

Temperatures rose into the 80s Saturday, but a brief rain shower on the ride from Clear Spring to Hagerstown cooled off the sweltering wagoneers.

The train made its final stop for the day in Funkstown and planned to head for Boonsboro today.

Janet Heim of Hagerstown said she had a hard time imagining packing her family of five's belongings into one tiny wagon.

"I think it's nice to commemorate an historic event. ... It makes us appreciate what we have," she said.

"I think it was really cool. I like the horses," said her daughter, Camille Heim, 9, of Hagerstown.

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