On Saturday, November 7th nearly 50 riders and their horses enjoyed the first ever trail ride within the boundaries of the St. Louis Regional Airport in Bethalto, Illinois.
The two and one-half hour ride featured natural terrain and man-made challenges parallel to the airport fenceline. As riders returned they enjoyed lunch and heard from the Dr. Kevin Kline, President of the Illinois Equine Foundation about the new Illinois Equine Emergency Response Fund. Dennis French, DVM, shared his experience from Hurricane Katrina, The Good, Bad & Ugly of Equine Disaster Response. TETHER (Technical Large Animal Rescue) displayed their newly formed organization and recruited volunteers for training and participation.
All of this information was geared towards Horsemen's Council of Illinois' recognition that we need a coordinated statewide equine disaster response plan and funding. Participants browsed and purchased horse supplies, food, clothing, jewelery and decor from a number of vendors. Special guests were Miss Rodeo Illinois, Ariel Wienmann; State Senator, William Haine; State Senator, Andy Manar; and Mayor of Bunker Hill, Tom Ament.
Metro-East horsemen and business community, under the leadership of Denise Maxwell, created a model event that raised more than $1100 to benefit the Illinois Equine Foundation. The funds will be split evenly between Trails Advocacy work and the Illinois Equine Crisis Response Fund. The Horsemen's Council hopes to stimulate similar events in other areas of the state as we look forward to assisting the Horse A-Fair to be bigger and better next year.
On behalf of Illinois Equine Foundation, Horsemen's Council of Illinois and those who will benefit from these new funds, thank you to each rider, vendor, sponsor, volunteer and participant!
Horsemen's Council of Illinois
Top Secret Designs
St. Louis Regional Airport
Illinois Boots & Saddle Club Inc.
Indian Hills Thoroughbred Farm, Inc.
Brian E. Keister & Associates
Triangle H Farm LLC
Jack Schmitt Chevrolet
David & Maribeth Rahe
Hamel Co-Operative Grain Co.
Metro Deaf Interpreting Professionals LLC
Illinois Horse Network
Prairietown Feed Service
Happy Trails Equestrian Club
Denise Maxwell - Chairperson; Chris & Ken Sherer - Trail Bosses; Jude Graves, Marcia Shetley, Michell Bickell, Ed Bickell, Leesa Schneider, Angie Fredrick-Garrett, Genie Manterfield, Karen White, JT Kolesa, Karen Margulis, Mary Davidson, Mary Beth Parker, Debbie Sakadaris