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In 1996, members of the United States Pony Club’s Task Force for the 21st Century identified loss of land and access as the greatest threat to the future of that organization – and to equestrian activities in general. Out of that committee came the founders of ELCR.

Initially ELCR worked through the highly-respected group The Conservation Fund as one of its programs, but in 1999 ELCR became an independent 501c3 with its own offices and staff. Since that time we have become the national organization to preserve land and promote access for all types of equestrian use. ELCR is governed by a Board of Directors and is greatly assisted by numerous volunteers from the across the country.

ELCR Founders

Melanie M. Heacock, Director Emeritus

Melanie is a former United States Pony Clubs President and was chairman of their Task Force for the 21st Century. She was also founder and co-chair of the annual National USPC Youth Congress. She has served as President of Paul’s Place Outreach Center (Baltimore, MD), Chairman of Hannah More School (Reisterstown, MD) and Board member of St. Paul’s School (Brooklandville, MD). Melanie heads ELCR’s Development Committee.

Rick Jorgensen, Co-Founder

West Virginia
Rick’s relationship with ELCR stemmed from his daughter Emily’s active involvement with the United States Pony Clubs. Armed with decades of conservation experience with the US Fish and Wildlife Service, his confidence encouraged the other co-founders to pursue the mission of ELCR. It was thanks to Rick’s relationships with key leaders at The Conservation Fund that ELCR was adopted as a program of that organization and was able to benefit from their guidance during the first year of its operations. After serving as ELCR’s first Executive Director Rick then served the organization as a Board member and he continues to be a valuable adviser and supporter. He currently works with the Conservation Land Management branch of the US Fish and Wildlife Service developing and leading Refuge Training courses at the National Conservation Training Center in Shepherdstown, West Virginia.

Georgiana Hubbard McCabe, Co-Founder

Georgiana was a longtime volunteer for the United States Pony Clubs, served as District Commissioner of Greenwich (CT) Pony Club and on the Board of Governors. While living in Connecticut she was chairman of a Preserve Management Committee for the Nature Conservancy and was on the Board of the Greenwich Audubon Preserve. She served on the Board of the Piedmont Environment Council (VA) and the UVA Cancer Center. She was also a member of the Coastal Mountains Land Trust (ME) and the Greenwich Land Trust and served on the Advisory Board of the Blue Ridge Foothills Conservancy.

Anson W.H. Taylor, JR., Co-Founder

Anson inspired the formation of ELCR when he led a strategic planning committee that identified the loss of land as the number one issue threatening the United States Pony Club. His successfully led efforts to protect open land from development on both local and national levels. Anson was a practicing attorney who dedicated his spare time to foxhunting with the Radnor Hunt (PA), traveling with his family, and supporting his community and the arts. He was closely involved with Pennsylvania land conservation organizations including ELCR, Radnor Hunt Pony Club, Brandywine Conservancy, The Willistown Trails Association, and the Willistown Conservancy. His name lives on in a number of ways, including ELCR’s Anson W. Taylor, Jr. Award for Leadership in Equine Land Conservation and the Willistown Conservation Trust’s Anson Taylor Fund for the Countryside.