BY TOM LAVIS
Riders from across the region will strut their stuff during the 53rd annual Greater Johnstown Saddle Club Horse Show.
The event begins at 9 a.m. Sunday at the club’s grounds on Saddle Club Road, off Route 160 between Salix and Windber Country Club.
“Things begin with the halter class, and the action continues throughout most of the day,” said Kathy Moss of South Fork, board member and event coordinator.
“We take a short break in the afternoon to allow people some time to enjoy some food and then get right back at it.”
The show boasts a variety of breeds, and more than 100 horses are expected to take part.
The club charges several entrance fees ranging from a $3 ring fee to a $5 entry fee for halter, performance and trophy classes.
Greater Johnstown Saddle Club prides itself on being a family-oriented, kid-friendly, horse-loving group.
“We also will be offering our famous chicken barbecue,” Moss said. “We offer a scrumptious dinner featuring a half-chicken, one side and a roll.”
The kitchen opens at 7:30 a.m., and a variety of other foods such as hot dogs, walking tacos, fruit cups and baked goods will be available.
There are nearly 50 classes of horse activities.
Stacey Hufman of Sidman, club member, said judges will be on hand each day to award trophies and ribbons, as well as determining points toward the Central Pennsylvania Horseman’s Association.
“The points earned go toward awards that are presented at the end of the year,” Hufman said. “The classes involve both English- and Western-style riding.”
The afternoon will be dedicated to gaming classes where events are timed.
“This involves the 50-yard dash, barrel racing, pole bending classes and others,” Hufman said. “Generally, we continue to about 7 p.m.”
Something new for spectators will be having the trail class walk around the show ring instead of traversing a wooded trail. It will resemble situations a horse and rider might actually encounter when on a trail in a natural habitat.
“We want people to see the challenges riders and horses face, such as walking across a fake bridge or going around obstacles,” Moss said.
Moss said all the events are aimed at bolstering the club’s mission of promoting and furthering the pleasure of horseback riding and all related activities.
One of the more popular events is the lead-line program, which is for novices who are not ready to ride on their own.
“The lead line is for participants ages 2 and up,” said Moss. “They are our riders of the future, and we even had some adults participate in the program.”
Show proceeds go toward expenses and for the welfare of the club.
Points accrued during the show go toward earning awards from the Central Pennsylvania Horseman’s Association.
The crowd also will be able to enjoy the costume class, where riders and horses are dressed in outfits.
Hufman said a dedication ceremony will be conducted at noon to recognize the club’s acquisition of an automated external defibrillator (AED), which has been installed at the pavilion.
“We received a $2,845 grant from Lee Initiatives to purchase the AED as well as money from Windber Hospital and Windber Hospice to train 15 club members on how to use it and administer CPR.”
Hufman said the defibrillator was a necessary purchase given the club’s rural location and distance from the nearest emergency responders.
“We have hundreds of visitors, and it’s all about ensuring their safety when they come to the club grounds,” Hufman said. “With the defibrillator, we can take action before it’s too late.”
What: 53rd annual Greater Johnstown Saddle Club Horse Show.
Where: Saddle Club Road, off Route 160 between Salix and Windber Country Club.
When: 9 a.m. Sunday.