November 19, 2022
By Kathy Smith
Lee’s Summit has many scenic roadways. One of the most beautiful to me is Ranson Road. It has the rustic beauty of an actual country road. It is lined with charming homes on one side and James A. Reed Wildlife Preserve on the other. All of this starts at Bailey Road where the remains of the Bailey farm wait in eager anticipation for the day when the Bailey Farm home will be restored to its former glory.
The scenic trip takes you to Sunset Trails Stables located at 2100 SE Ranson Road. The stables are owned and operated by Maggie Everson.
Sunset Trails was part of the historic Rex Post Dairy Farm. Maggie’s father Glen had the idea of purchasing the property to have a place for 4-H kids to meet. 4-H is a great organization that mentors kids and teaches kids to do hands-on projects in the area of earth, science, health, and civic engagement. The organization has been around for 100 years. There is always an adult mentor to advise the kids. Currently, Maggie is the mentor and with the help of many volunteers works with the kids. Most schools in rural communities had 4-H as part of their extracurricular activities. Maggie told me at the time of this interview that the Sunset Trails 4-H was participating in the National Horse Bowl in Louisville, Kentucky. Dani Picard, a Sunset Trails volunteer, took four girls to the competition. The competition is like one of those big-time game shows where you have to know the answer to any number of questions.
The kids study hard and long for the chance to compete. The prize is a $500 scholarship to the college of their choice. They also receive ribbons and special plaques, the girls who competed were Bailey Spaulding, Elizabeth Pruett, and Alaiana O’Dell. They also had to compete at the regional and state levels. What a great tribute to this 4-H program and the mentors at Sunset Trail.
I have known Maggie since she was a young whipper snapper. Her beautiful mother Corrine Everson operated the stables before Maggie. All of the Everson kids grew up on the property. That includes Ethan and Anna who like Maggie have graduated from college and gone on to their respective careers. Maggie took over management of Sunset Trails on in 2013. They are currently celebrating their 20th anniversary. Over all those years young folks from this area have learned to ride horses, participated in trail rides, and had the opportunity to have great birthday parties.
Maggie took a little animal friend with her to college. Well, my friends, this “friend” was a potbellied pig that Maggie named Miss Piggy. Oh, yes there is a Kermit in the picture now at the stables but he didn’t graduate from college as Miss Piggy did.
I think that Miss Piggy was the inspiration for what is going on at Sunset Stables now. Maggie has enough animals for a petting zoo. She has little goats, llamas, small goats, and all kinds of miniature animals. There are two tortoises and two adorable miniature cattle called Highlanders. They are a Scottish breed and will melt your heart when you see them.
The animals are taken to all kinds of festivals and schools. They are used to educate people about various breeds of animals. What a great idea, my friends. I had the pleasure of taking my beautiful mom to meet Maggie’s animals. She giggled the whole time. The animals loved her and she loved them, Sunset Trails Stables has the whole package: riding lessons, boarding of horses, mini animals, a strong 4-H program, and best of all, an enthusiastic owner who has a strong work ethic and a big heart for kids and animals.