(Posted April 7, 2015)
The Madison County chapter of the Ohio Horseman’s Council is hosting an equine fun show May 3 and a five-part gymkhana series May 31 through Oct. 11 at the Madison County Fairgrounds in London.
The open fun show starts at 10 a.m. May 3 and offers Western, English, jumps and speed classes. The gymkhana series will take place at 10 a.m. May 31, June 21, Aug. 9, Sept. 6 and Oct. 11.
What is gymkhana? It is an equestrian event in which riders and horses compete against the clock in speed pattern racing and timed games. Speed events include barrel races, keyhole races, keg races (also known as “down and back”), flag races and pole bending. All require precise, controlled actions and tight teamwork between horse and rider.
Participants in the gymkhana series accumulate points throughout the season. Awards will go to the horse-and-rider teams with the most points in three age divisions: 12 years old and younger, 13 to 18, and 19 and older.
Entry fees are $5 per class. A $5 grounds fee is waived for anyone with an Ohio Horseman’s Council membership card. Membership applications will be available at the games. There is no admission charge for spectators.
“Gymkhana is being offered to anyone with a horse and a desire to just have fun. So bring a friend and plan on spending the day,” said Dee Elfrink, Horseman’s Council member.
The council aims to attract participants from both inside and outside of Madison County.
“We hope that offering our games on Sundays will be a great opportunity for other competitors to travel to Madison County and compete in the newly refurbished Coughlin Horse Arena,” Elfrink said. “We also are hoping that by adding our event to the schedule of the fairgrounds calendar we can bring more interest into our community.”
The committee for the Madison County Ohio Horseman’s Council fun show and gymkhana series includes: Ashley Sullivan, chairperson; Eric Sullivan, arena set-up; Jenna Rash, announcer; Dee Elfrink, timekeeper; and Jennifer Hunter, entry sign-up.
For more information, call Ashley Sullivan at (812) 251-6909 or Jennifer Hunter at (614) 402-0861. Also look for “Madison County OHC Gymkhana” on Facebook.
About the Horseman’s Council
The Madison County Ohio Horseman’s Council was formed in 1999 with 29 members. The non-profit organization has since grown to 80 members. Among them are one state officer, Ann Beathard, a central regional representative, and two state committee chairpersons, Jeff Fultz and Cindie Rogers, co-chairs of the All American Youth Horse Show, a fundraiser for the state council.
The Madison County chapter was formed as a way for equestrians to meet one another and promote the love of horse riding through service projects. Members spend many man hours performing trail maintenance at Deer Creek State Park near Mount Sterling and Prairie Oaks Metro Park near West Jefferson. Through fundraisers, they support improvements to the Deer Creek State Park trails and Horsemen’s Campground. The chapter also supports therapeutic riding programs.
The Horseman’s Council annually sponsors trophies for the Madison County Junior Fair horse show. The group also is promoting the Sponsor A Rail program to raise money to offset the cost of recent updates to the Coughlin Horse Arena. Sponsorship levels are: $300 for a top rail, $200 for a rail second from the top, $150 for a rail third from the top; or $100 for a bottom rail. Call Theresa Powell, (614) 329-0077, or any Horseman’s Council member for more information.
The Horseman’s Council typically meets at 7 p.m. the second Thursday of each month at the Madison County Engineer’s Office, 825 U.S. Rte. 42 NE, London. (Exception: Next month’s meeting will be a bonfire and potluck at 6 p.m. May 7 at the home of John and Marsha Pierce, 3141 Tradersville-Brighton Road, London.) Anyone with an equine interest is welcome to join the group.
Officers are: Mike Rogers, president; Tim Beathard, vice president; Marsha Pierce, secretary; and Jeff Fultz, treasurer.
To learn more about the organization, go to www.madisoncountyohc.talkspot.com or look for “Madison County Ohio Horseman’s Council Inc.” on Facebook.