Cowboys and cowgirls young and old recently celebrated the Eastern Kansas Horseman’s Association (EKHA) with a year-end awards banquet.
Scrapbooks and newsletters telling just a tad bit of the EKHA story were displayed before supper at Salina as horseshow friends, some for 50 years, talked and reminisced.
Noalee McDonald-Augustine, EKHA president, served as master of ceremonies, crediting the group’s founders for 50 years of success.
Jane Wallace, who’s served in a number of leadership roles while competing in EKHA shows four decades, introduced several members and families instrumental in starting EKHA.
Marlene Flinn of St. George served as the first EKHA secretary and was in attendance with her daughter Wanita Vann. Both had competed in the first year of EKHA shows.
“EKHA was started so families who love horses could have organized weekend shows in the eastern half of the state, not have to drive a long distance, or compete against major professional showmen. Obviously, by looking at the crowd here tonight, and all of the children and families, EKHA is continuing most successfully in the same way for which it was founded,” Flinn said.
In recognition of EKHA’s golden anniversary, Shirley McDonald, EKHA point keeper whose husband, daughter (the president), and grandchildren are EKHA riders, made a special quilt and donated for the fundraiser auction conducted as one of the evening’s features.
Twelve 50th anniversary EKHA buckles sold for an average of about $125 to benefit EKHA, and one specially-designed Golden Anniversary EKHA Trophy buckle sold for $805 to Howard Langvardt. A silent auction of horse items donated by riders further benefited the horseshow group.
The Super Horse Award went to Little Cowboy Lane ridden by Nicole, Michelle, Heather and Jayden Patry, always with guidance from their parents Josh and Marlene Patry.
Highpoint horse award for the 2013 EKHA season went to Peppy ridden by Brooke and Sierra Wallace and their aunt Sara Prochaska. Peppy and Brooke also received the award for highpoint junior horse and rider unit.
Jazz and Jane Wallace, one of the longest continuing EKHA riders, collected the senior highpoint horse and rider unit award.
Mitchell County Riders was named the highpoint saddle club for the year, followed in order by Salina Silver Spurs, Sand Springs Saddle Club and Santa Fe Saddle Club.
Year-end highpoint age group honorees were Reece Langvardt, six-and-under; Michelle Patry, seven-to-nine; Nicole Patry, ten-to-13; Noalee McDonald-Augustine, 19-40; Sara Prochaska, 41-60; and Ron McDonald, 61-and-over.
The Rosie Clymer Most Improved Youth Rider awards went to Jayden Patry and Morgan Poole, while the Rosie Clymer Youth Sportsmanship awards were presented to Weston Langvardt and Ellie Wiles.
Officers were elected during the EKHA annual meeting prior to the banquet. EKHA officers for the coming year include Noalee McDonald-Augustine, president; Marlene Patry, vice president; Heidi Lange, secretary; and Susan Melhus, treasurer.£