The History of Valley Riders Saddle Club

The first official meeting of Valley Riders Saddle Club was held at the Smith Valley Community Center on March 21, 1965. There were 14 members in the club at that time. The club was incorporated on March 4, 1965.

The first horse show sponsored by Valley Riders was held on June 5, 1965, with performance and gaming classes. Also on the show bill was a diaper race, three legged race, cob race and a catalogue race. The show was held in a lot next to the Smith Valley Community Center. That was the only show held in 1965. Shows in 1966 were held at various farms.

In the spring of 1967 a permanent arena was built at the Bob Briggs farm. The club remained at that location until 1978, when they moved to the arena at Karen and Bob Buck's. For health reasons, Karen and Bob moved to Colorado in 1981, making another move necessary. Arrangements were made with the Johnson County Fair Board to have the shows at the arena in front of the grandstand. The first year at the fairgrounds the club sponsored a two day AQHA, IQHA approved show, which was very successful.

In 1981, the club began investigating the possibility of building a new horse arena at the northeast corner of the fairgrounds. This was something that had been talked about for many years. It was agreed that Valley Riders and 4-H Horse and Pony would supply materials and the labor to build the arena. It was completed in 1982. The first show held in the new arena was a two day show approved by ISHA, PHBA and MABA.

Due to the fairgrounds expansion project, Valley was forced to find a new home in 1996. Plans were finalized and with the combined effort of Valley Riders and 4-H our current show arena became reality in the southwest corner of the fairgrounds. 1998 saw a 50 stall barn and 2000 saw a new shelter beside the entry booth. A new concession stand was added in 2001 and new restrooms and showers were built in 2002. A new makeup arena was added in 2003 and a new building for storage and to house the Egenolf Education Center was built in 2005. An additional 34-stall barn was built to the north of the existing stall barn in 2010 and an addition to the entry booth was completed in 2015. Plans are under way for an additional stall barn to be built when funds are available.

Valley now consists of approximately 80 families. The club sponsors a fun show, 9 open shows, a two day anniversary show, an open / AQHA Introductory show, and a two day AQHA show. Our members enjoy an annual picnic, trail ride, a year end banquet and various other activities throughout the year.