Back in the Saddle

Oldham County Saddle Club
to kick off new show season

Shows are held at the
Oldham County Fairgrounds arena

LA GRANGE, Ky. (May 2013) – When Laura Harbour was searching for a way to connect with other horse lovers, she stumbled across the Oldham County Saddle Club. What she has gained in joining the club will stick with her for a lifetime.
“It’s nice to be able to get together with other horse lovers,” she said. She actually came across the club online when looking at horse show calendars.

Laura Harbour

Photo provided

Laura Harbour says she has
met many friends through
her membership and activities
in the saddle club.

Harbour, originally from Illinois, came to Kentucky when she attended the University of Kentucky. She now lives on seven acres in Scott County, Ky., and owns two off-track thoroughbreds that were once used for harness racing.
She began riding when she was 8 years old. She is now in her 30s. “I got serious about it when I was in college,” she said. Harbour was a member of the equine team at the University of Kentucky and now works as a dental hygienist.
She is a 2012 show winner for the club, having won top honors in the In-Hand Series and the English Series. She was also named the national High Point Rookie of the Year.
“She won two high point awards with us, and we offer a total of four,” said Sarah Garner, founder of the Oldham County Saddle Club. The club boasts more than 50 members and holds its shows at the Oldham County Fairgrounds, located on Hwy. 146 near La Grange.
Garner said she began the club in 2009 for various reasons. “I wanted to meet other horse people in the community and get a sense of networking. I also saw a need with the down turn of the economy in folks looking for shows closer to home. I also wanted to provide a social atmosphere. With today’s social media, this has been achieved very quickly.”
In 2006, Garner moved from Jefferson County, Ky., to Clover Leaf Farm on Hwy. 22 in Oldham County to pursue her love of horses. “The underlining factor is to have fun,” said Garner. “If you own a horse, you love it.”
The club will hold its first show of the 2013 season on May 18 at the Oldham County Fairgrounds. Other 2013 season dates include June 15, Aug. 3 (Oldham County Fair Horse Show), Aug. 24, Sept. 14 and Oct. 12.
Club membership is on an individual basis, and all ages are welcome. Some of the youngest members are 5 or 6 years old, said Garner. “You don’t have to be a member to compete with us. We are really a diverse group.”
Harbour was drawn to the Oldham County Saddle Club because “the shows are great. It’s a nice, low-key family environment.” She is also a member of the Henry County Saddle Club and the New Jersey Standardbred Pleasure Horse Organization.
Categories included in the Oldham County Saddle Club’s shows are comprised of general halter classes, English, Western and Open Show. Garner is excited that Louisville food trucks will be present at the shows this year. An area will be open for artisans and vendors as well.
“We want the shows to feel community oriented,” she said. “We want to generate a buzz.”
An incentive to joining the club is that “we offer a variety of events besides our show series. We have participated in the Kentucky Derby Festival Parade, participate annually in the Oldham County Day Parade, host Learning Workshops for our members to learn more about topics in the equine world, and we have a variety of social events,” said Garner.
Learning Workshops are offered one day a month from October through April at various locations and include guest speakers. One reason the workshops were instituted is because things were so “dormant in the winter,” she said. Members are able to learn a variety of new things and concepts they may have forgotten over the years, through these workshops.
When you’ve been around horses all your life, “You think you know so much, and fail to realize you may have lost the basics,” Garner said. She wants to expand the workshops and travel as a group across the state to various locations. The group recently visited the Hagyard Equine Medical Institute and a thoroughbred farm in Lexington, Ky.

• For more information, visit the club’s website at: www.OldhamCountySaddleClub.com.

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