In October 1998, Clemson University hosted The National Symposium on Horse Trails in Forest Ecosystems: the first attempt to create a concerted effort at focusing on trails issues in a natural resource conservation policy context.
Following the National Symposium, Clemson University Forestry Professor Gene W. Wood was instrumental in the creation of the Southeastern Equestrian Trails Conference (SETC), which was first held in 2000 at Clemson University. For the next 12 years SETC was an annual conference, with groups from individual southeastern states assuming the responsibilities of developing and hosting each year's conference. After SETC2012 in Lexington KY, it was decided to change the conference name to the NATIONAL Equestrian Trails Conference (NETC) to better reflect both the aspirations and audience of the conference. NETC2013 was held in Rock Hill, SC, and after NETC2013 a permanent board was appointed to facilitate continuity and assist in ongoing conference responsibilities. NETC2016 marks the first conference since 2013.
And while NETC2016 will convene over fifteen years since Dr. Wood's inaugural event, his words written in 2000 when he laid out the new conference's purpose and ambitions remain true to this day:
Those wishing to learn more about NETC history can find documents from past conferences below: