The Fox Creek Horse Association originally started on April 21, 1977 as the Fox Creek Light Horse and Rodeo Association, and later changed to the Fox Creek Light Horse Association. The club, led by elected president Bob Marple, originally consisted of 10 horse lovers and rodeo fans.
To raise money for barns and fencing, an indoor rodeo was held at the arena. During the first rodeo weekend there was a street dance held in front of the arena, pancake breakfast and parade. Some of the events of the rodeo included, but was not limited to: local businessman’s cow milking, bare bronc riding and rodeo clowns which came from Innisfail and River Bridge, Alberta.
During the days of the rodeo, Fox Creek seen Maureen McTeer (past M.D Joe Clark’s wife ) come as a guest of honour and to ride her horse in the parade. The Edmonton City Police Pipe Band also took part in the parade. Champion bullfighter Arleigh Boneha from the USA attended. Fiddle contests were also held during the rodeo, drawing in fiddlers from all over Alberta.
In the years that the rodeo was held, it ranked third out of 36 rodeos under the Lakeland Rodeo Association. Contestants came from British Columbia, Saskatchewan and all over Alberta.
Following the success of the first rodeo, it became an annual event but it only lasted for about five years. With a lack of volunteers, interest that seemed to dwindle, and with attendance dropping, the local town council decided that the arena could only be used for another three years; therefore the club made the decision to stop holding the rodeo.
Not long after the horse club first started, Bob Marple, Bob Smith and Pete Kotyk got the ‘ball rolling’ and built barns, dug a well, removed trees and fenced the pasture. Past members who contributed greatly to the development of the club were the late Bob Marple, Bob Smith, Pete Kotyk, Ken Bliss, David Gibbs, Ted Kuypers and Murray Kirkland.
Following the first years of the club, there were 12 members and 18 horses. Today there are approximately 15 members and 10 horses.
The Fox Creek Horse Association’s board consists of: President – Leanne Van Loon, Vice President – Sylvia Schilperoort, Secretary – Peter Beauregard, Pasture Manager – Dominik Typert and Bylaw Officer – Betty Malone.
“We are seeing an increase in people inquiring about horse stables in Fox Creek,” said Van Loon. She added, “We would like to expand the club and build a trauma room for injured horses.”
Fences need to be fixed at the horse club, all of the caved in buildings need removed and the yard needs cleaning up. May 30th is the clean up day set for the club.
The club is seeking donations of wood to fix the fences. The club wants to build a new arena, at a cost of $11,000. The club house, which is sitting on skids, needs removed as it can no longer be used and sold. There’s also an old tractor that the club is looking to sell, perfect for that person wanting a new project to take on.
The Fox Creek Horse Association will be holding their first Equine First Aide Clinic in July, dates to be announced later. The club will also be taking part in the local Beerfest on June 7.
“We are hoping to be able to host events such as roping jackpots, gymkhanas and jackpots for fundraisers,” said Leanne Van Loon – Fox Creek Horse Association.
The Fox Creek Horse Association also has a ‘Healing Reins Leadership Program’ which will run on June 21, July 5 and 12. This program is for ages 8-15, for a maximum of six participants.
Together with your children we will learn through hands on activities and discussions, focusing on making small positive changes. We are learning through horses and developing our character with them. The Healing Reins Leadership Program will help to teach Leadership, Communication, Herd Dynamics, Team Building and more about horses and horse care.
Another program being offered by the association is ‘Healing Reins EAL/EAP’. This 8 week program offers a glimpse into ‘finding yourself’. The program covers a variety of areas, from fears to what is important to us as individuals and focusing on change in your (the reader) life. The eight camps are; 1- Discern, 2- Design, 3- Discover, 4- Define, 5- Determine, 6- Desire, 7- Destiny, and 8- Deliver.
This program is based on the certain knowledge that you have within you every talent, attitude, quality and characteristics needed to success in life and create for yourself an incredible future. This program works ‘hands-on’ with horses, as horses act as a mirror and reflect our feelings, attitudes and more. The program will run on August 30, September 6, 13, 20, 27, October 4 and 11.
Those who wish to inquire about bringing a horse to the pasture or the old buildings, material for new buildings, etc. are asked to contact the pasture manager at (902) 293-6846. For inquiries on programs and courses, please contact the president of the Fox Creek Horse Association, Leanne Von Loon. The email address to contact the club is firstname.lastname@example.org
Those who are interested in joining the club; Family Memberships cost $35/year, Single Membership costs $25/year and an associate membership costs $5/year. The Fox Creek Horse Association is located on crown land, meaning that the club that is open to the public.
By Hailey Spiess
Hailey enjoys informing people about the events
and telling the stories of Fox Creek.
As a mother of three, for Hailey,
family comes first and writing is her passion.
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