2017 VTP “FUNraiser” Show, Trail Challenge & Trail Ride
Photography by Zach Sampson
Horse Heaven Ranch in Talihina, Oklahoma was the site of the 2017 VTP FUNraiser Show, Trail Challenge and Trail Ride. FUN, a welcoming environment, and fund raising for the VTP program was not only our theme, but our goal during this extended Memorial Day weekend event. As a result, North American Saddle Mule Association Versatility Trail Program committee member Sherri Pledger and myself hosted a very successful weekend with people coming from as far away as Kentucky, Kansas and Tennesse to enjoy this great outdoor show. Additionally, it demonstrated to new members that it is possible to attend a NASMA Sanctioned Show and VTP trail ride without having expensive tack or breaking the bank.
To create that fun welcoming atmosphere we started on Wednesday with a trail ride. This gave our NASMA Versatility Trail Program members a chance to get together and meet other members as well as nab double VTP hours. Several new friendships were formed as VTP members met others from neighboring states. As Friday evening came, so did the show people. This time, our meet and greet extended not only to the show people but to Zone 4 Directors Stephen Jardot and Rick Pledger and Youth Scholarship Committee Chair Cheryl Metheny and Youth Membership Chair Heather Bauer. Having our directors and committee chairs available to our members had a very positive impact in building our organization.
As a result of our great attendance VTP was able to hand out several hourly achievement awards in person. Congratulations to our recent 250 hour achievers Rhonda West of Oklahoma, Ashley Major of Oklahoma and Kathy Tipton of Missouri. 100 hour achievement awards went to Zone 4 Director Rick Pledger and Donna Tibbs of Oklahoma and 50 hour achievement awards to VTP Committee Member Sherri Pledger, Youth Oklahoma Member Jaden Bauer and NASMA Youth Chair Heather Bauer.
Saturday was the Extreme Trail Challenge and “Fun” Classes. Special thanks to our judge Bruce Eutsler of Oklahoma for selecting the winners. The fun classes were one of Saturday’s highlights, with my favorite being the ever amusing diaper race. Saturday wrapped up with a silent auction, potluck dinner and announcements of the extreme trail winners.
The NASMA Show, held on Sunday was judged by Kelly Reames of Arkansas. A special thank you goes to Kelly for spending her Sunday with us as she judged over 103 entries on that beautiful day. A huge thank you to all our NASMA and VTP members who volunteered their time, funds and support during the entire weekend. There are too many of you to mention one by one and I am sure we would leave someone out. But thank you, thank you!!!
A little bit about Horse Heaven Ranch
Nestled among the Ouachita Mountains in Talihina, Oklahoma Horse Heaven Ranch offers some of the most breathtaking views of the mountains and forest. Open 365 days a year with monthly rates available they can accommodate large groups, weddings, honeymoons, birthdays, club functions, special events, friends and even a romantic getaway. Horse Heaven Ranch offers numerous amenities including six fully equipped cabins with covered barns for your special equine. There are 32 RV sites (with several oversized spots for larger horse trailers or motor homes) each with water and electric hookups, 12 sites with sewer, 12 sites pull thru, 20 back in sites, 2 separated piped pens in view of your rig, free dump station, 30 to 46 foot concrete slabs to park on, picnic table, BBQ grill, fire pit, hitching post and 30 or 50 amp sites available. Dogs are allowed in camp and on trails but not in the cabins or bathhouse. There is primitive camping and tent camping available. You are welcome to bring your picket line or electric pen as well. Current negative coggins is required. When you arrive at Horse Heaven Ranch the owner Elfie will great you at the office, check your Coggins and direct you to your campsite. If you would like to plan a trip to Horse Heaven Ranch you can contact Elfie at (918) 567-4200 or on her cell at (254) 289-2242 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
If you would like more information about the NASMA VTP or how you can host your own VTP ride you can reach VTP Chair Pamela Bennett at email@example.com or by calling 620-341-0714.
For a complete listing of upcoming NASMA Shows, Trail rides and other events you can go to www.nasma.us