Saddle Club holds a Funday fundraiser
By MALACHI MUNCY
On Saturday, more than 100 children and their families visited the Copperas Cove Saddle Club arena on Boys Ranch Road for the club’s Family Funday Fundraiser.
Kids got their faces painted, rode horses, rode tractors and painted ponies.
The saddle club raised $1,600 at the event to help the group move to a new arena in Kempner.
The decision to move was spurred in April when Copperas Cove city council voted to sell the Boys Ranch Road property where the saddle club has ridden horses and held competitions since 1993.
“We were surprised by the city’s decision to sell this property,” said Ann Wyatt, Saddle Club president. “We only heard about it when we did because one of our members goes to the city council meetings.”
The council had wavered on the whether to sell the property; they previously voted to take bids, then not to sell, then rescinded the vote not to sell.
“One of our members put in a bid so that we would be able to continue using the property,” said Wyatt. “He would have been willing to pay fair market value for it. The city could have gotten their money.”
Since the first saddle club lease on the property, more than 20 years ago, the club has spent its funds installing and maintaining a riding arena, fencing, parking area, water, electricity and more on the property.
“In a normal year we raise around $10,000,” said Wyatt. “Seven to eight (thousand) of that goes back out in awards to families that win riding competitions. What’s left is for maintenance and operations.”
The club is being allowed to stay at the Boys Ranch Road location until the end of its lease in March. In that time, the club hopes to raise $25,000 to help it establish a new location.
“We’ve got a new property in mind on the other side of Kempner,” said Wyatt. “We need to install fencing, water and electricity. Basically, we’re starting over with fresh land. Even with our members volunteering to do the work, it’s a big financial undertaking for a little non-profit.”
The next fundraising event for the club is a horse schooling show on October 7 at The Bar 17 Arena in Lampasas.
“The funday was a success for a one-day event,’ said Wyatt. “It shows how much support there is in the community.”