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History: Local: Community Organizations

 

Menomonee Falls Saddle Club

 

Menomonee Falls Saddle Club celebrates 50th anniversary

Group reflects on past

Posted Living Sussex Sun, March 5, 2015

The drill team, pictured in 1970, is one of many activities embraced by the Menomonee Falls Saddle Club throughout the last 50 years, including horse shows, tack sales, educational horse clinics, trail rides and dances

Menomonee Falls A lot has changed since the Menomonee Falls Saddle Club first saddled up together back in 1965. A game where children were challenged to stay on a shovel while being pulled around the ring by one of the horses would probably not be up to insurance standards anymore, for example.

But in spite of the passage of time, the heart and soul of the club has remained steadfast.

"Sure, we all love horses, but beyond that, we're good friends who like to have fun," said charter member and Sussex resident Ruth Heyder. "And boy, have we had fun."

The club celebrates its 50th anniversary this year, which has prompted members like Heyder to pause to reflect on its journey to get to this point.

Journey to the past

A few years after the club's inception in 1965, the club purchased 10 acres at Howard Lane and Highway 164, which became the home for what Heyder called a labor of love for all who were involved. The fenced-in arena, lights and building housing an office, kitchen and announcer's booth were all constructed by volunteers.

"They did so much out of the kindness of their hearts," recalled Heyder. "Those fellas worked and worked, and they didn't get a penny for it."

Among the very necessary projects was something Heyder, 93, called a "one-holer."

"We had to have an outhouse," she said, with a laugh.

Located at N75 W25500 Highway 164 in Lisbon, the grounds became a home to the club, whose purpose was to promote good horse ownership, horsemanship and sportsmanship.

Over the years, the club has hosted horse shows, tack sales, educational horse clinics, trail rides and dances.

Love for horses

Throughout the years, the group has played an integral role in the community, including involvement with starting the therapeutic horseback riding program for children with disabilities at The Ranch.

The service organization closed abruptly in 2007, but until then the club assisted with educating participants in the program. Following its closure, they also assisted with getting many of the animals adopted to good homes.

In the early years, the club was also active with the Schlitz Circus Parade, often riding as flag bearers. They also became instigators of a project that evolved into the creation of several bridle trails in Waukesha County and surrounding areas; have sponsored a number of benefit horse shows for local causes; and have collected food for the Sussex Food Pantry.

"One of our reasons for forming in the beginning was Menomonee Park was just getting established, and we had a goal of having bridle trails going through that park," said Carole Schultz, whose family once owned a portion of what would become the park in question.

Also a charter member of the club, Schultz said the only thing better than the camaraderie with other horse lovers is the horses themselves.

The group hopes to reminisce about these and other pieces of its history with members and the public at its 50th anniversary celebration Sunday, March 8, at Boneyard Pub & Grill, N64W23180 Main St., in Sussex. At a cost of $8 per person, the event will feature music, appetizers, raffles and an appearance by Miss Rodeo Wisconsin 2015, Lydia Berg.

AT A GLANCE

WHAT: Menomonee Falls Saddle Club 50th Anniversary celebration and open house

WHEN: Noon to 4 p.m. Sunday, March 8

WHERE: Boneyard Pub & Grill, N64W23180 Main St., Sussex

COST: $8 per person includes entry, appetizers, soda, coffee, milk and tea

For more information: www.mfsaddleclub.com

 

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