The Women’s Surface Creek Saddle Club
December 15, 2008
Our equine-focused club has been around in western Colorado for almost 50 years now, which is incredible in this little valley! It was started in Cedaredge in 1959, by a group of women whose husbands were busy playing “Cowboy Polo”. The women wanted to have some fun with their horses too, so they formed a horse drill team to perform during the Cowboy Polo half times. As horse interest grew in Cedaredge, a benefactor donated some land (where the current arena stands) to the newly formed “Surface Creek Saddle Club, Inc.”. The Incorporation was then organized into three parts: a Men’s group, a Women’s group, and the Cedaredge Teens. The women’s group grew into a membership who concentrated on trail riding and performing in parades, and became known as the “Women’s Surface Creek Saddle Club” (WSCSC). This group developed independent by-laws and budget, but still acted as a member within the original incorporation. The “Men’s Group” evolved over the years to include women members, and is referred to as the “Incorporation” these days. A few years ago, the Incorporation began holding gymkhanas at the arena, to provide more youth and adult horse activities in our area. The third leg of the Incorporation is now called the “Festival Organization of Cedaredge”. This group originally built the arena, stands and chutes on the land in Cedaredge. Their volunteers work hard to maintain the structures at the arena, and they are responsible for organizing the annual Little Britches rodeo, which is held in Cedaredge each July. In the 1960’s, the WSCSC built the concession stand at the arena, which they have run for many years during the Little Britches, gymkhanas, and other rodeo events.
Over the years, the WSCSC members have seen most of Delta County from horseback. Members such as “trailmaster” Carolynn Andersen and “barrel queen” Connie Frost have been a part of this amazing saddle club since the early years. They both have lots of stories to share about their escapades on horseback. Our members have enjoyed many wonderful times in the saddle, prepared and eaten delicious foods at various events, and participated in fun parades and campouts over the years, all with their favorite equine companions. The ladies in our club range in age from their early 20’s up into their 70’s and beyond. Many of our older member are quite spry, and show us that you can still be going strong as you age, as long as you have a good equine to take you out onto the trail!
Our club tries to sponsor a couple of larger equine events each year. We have a small but determined group of riders who participate in the North American Trail Ride Conference (NATRC) competitive trail rides. These rides are great fun, as they involve a weekend of long rides, obstacles on the trail, camping at night, and a sense of camaraderie. Our club helps to sponsor a NATRC ride called “Island in the Sky”, which is held up on the Grand Mesa every other year in August. This event takes the coordination of members such as Judy Mason, Carolynn Andersen, and Betty Garrett (all of who participate frequently in NATRC events), as well as the time and energy of many of our other club members and volunteers. The other public event that the WSCSC puts on is called the “Colorado West Trail Horse Trials”, which is a smaller competitive trail ride with ten judged obstacles. We hold the event on BLM land at the Escalante area, approximately ten miles west of Delta. Riders have fun on a beautiful trail, and then get to see how well their horses are trained, as they are presented with various obstacles that you’d find on a trail ride. It’s a blast for everyone who attends, and it becomes a fund raiser for our club. When our club raises money, we look for equine-related causes to donate money to each year.
If you’re new in town, or would love to get involved with a fun group of equine-embracing women, the WSCSC is for you. We have members with a variety of breeds, such as Quarter horses, Thoroughbreds, Fijords, Haflingers, Arabians, mules and gaited breeds such as Foxtrotters, Mountain horses, Tennessee Walking horses, gaited donkeys, and so much more! Call or email me (Jennifer, the current secretary) at 970-856-4760 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Dues are only $20 per year, and this allows you to use the Cedaredge arena as well.