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Oldham County Saddle Club

New club for horse enthusiasts
forming for county residents

Crestwood’s Garner conceived
the idea to bring people together

By Helen E. McKinney
Contributing Writer

CRESTWOOD, Ky. (November 2009) – Sarah Garner established a saddle club in Oldham County for one reason, and one reason only: to create a network of individuals who can share a common love of horses.
The Oldham County Saddle Club was formed recently because “I thought the county needed a group of people to enjoy their horses in a casual-type environment,” said Garner, 29. Originally from Jefferson County, Ky., Garner moved to Oldham County in 2006.

Riders saddle up

Photo provided

Riders saddle up
for a trail ride in
Crestwood, Ky.

The club is open to both individuals and families. Garner would prefer that members live in Oldham County to grow the idea of a saddle club based in the county, but there are no restrictions on who can join. Member fees are $15 an individual and $40 for a family consisting of two adults and up to four children under age 18.
Activities for members include special member-only shows, summer shows and trail rides. The idea is to promote and encourage the care, riding and enjoyment of horses through fun and new friendships.
Being part of the club can bond horse lovers and provide them with “something in our backyards that allows us to come together and not spend a lot of money,” said Garner.
Benefits for members include discounted horse show fees, members only and year-end awards, and social activities. The club provides an outlet for trail riding and competing for individuals not associated with other groups.
“The underlining factor is to have fun,” said Garner. “If you own a horse, you love it.” Being a member is done “for the love of the horse-there’s no pressure to do other things if you don’t want to.”
The saddle club is presently based from her 14-acre farm in Crestwood, Clover Lea Farm, where she offers boarding services. Garner is looking for a more permanent visible place to enjoy saddle club activities in the county.
Garner consulted with Mary Lowry, owner of Alta Vista Farm in Oldham County, about beginning the saddle club. Lowry, president of the Oldham County Equine Council, said she offered direction, advice about putting on shows, and location ideas.
Lowry thinks the club will “bring lots of people from many different riding disciplines together.” It will also bring the community together, said Lowry, who grew up knowing Garner.

Garner

Sarah Garner

Lowry is willing to do whatever Garner “needs me to do” in getting the saddle club off of the ground. “It’s a great thing for the area.”
Garner’s work in the equine industry doesn’t stop with the Oldham County Saddle Club. She is Director of Fundraising for Saddlebred Rescue, based in New Jersey and located at North Wind Stables, a nationally known Saddlebred show facility.
She said she had always wanted to “provide a retirement home for rescue horses.” She was able to adopt two horses of her own. Through her acquaintance with the Executive Director of Saddlebred Rescue, Garner was asked to take on the position of Director of Fundraising. Saddlebred Rescue hosts the Louisville Luncheon and Silent Auction each year, held on the Thursday of the World’s Championship Horse Show in August in Louisville.
“Everybody is welcome” to join the Oldham County Saddle Club, said Garner. “There is no fancy stuff. It’s geared for people with backyard horses that you can pull from the field and take for a ride.”
Traci Missun, Oldham County Cooperative Extension Agent for Agriculture & Natural Resources, said she is not aware of any other saddle clubs in the county. Missun said a saddle club “would be an asset to horse owners in the county. Horses are not only the No. 1 agribusiness in the county but also a passion for many people here.”
Missun said it is “always beneficial to have a group where you can network with people who have similar interests. Many good things come out of networking.”

• The Oldham County Saddle Club will hold its first meeting at 4 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 1, at the South Oldham Fire Department. For more information, contact Sarah Garner at (502) 744-5190 or visit www.OldhamCountySaddleClub.com.

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