By Frank J. Buchman
Time is now to become involved in the future of everything involved with horses in Kansas and the nation.
“Annual meeting of the Kansas Horse Council (KHC) is scheduled Saturday, December 4, at the Douglas County Fairgrounds in Lawrence,” announced Justine Staten, KHC executive director.
A full day of activities will kick off with Kansas Horse Council members participating in the Lawrence Old-fashioned Parade Saturday morning.
“Wear something festive, sport the KHC Logo, and decorate your horse too. Then ride or drive a horse drawn vehicle as we parade through downtown,” Staten welcomed.
Participants are asked to gather at the northeast side of the fairgrounds around 10 o’clock with the parade officially starting at 11 o’clock
“After the parade route, tie your horse, hang your hay bags and water buckets, and trot yourself to the Flory Building for the KHC meeting,” Staten encouraged. There’ll be soup, cookies, cocoa, coffee and water at 1 o’clock, with the meeting starting at 1:30.
“We’ll have updates, awards and recognitions concluding by 3 o’clock so you can hit the road before dark,” Staten said.
“The Kansas Horse Council’s main fund raising event is the EquiFest of Kansas,” Staten reminded. “So, details about EquiFest 2022, set March 18-19-20, at Salina will also be reviewed.”
Many people including horse owners and others with heartfelt interests in horses still don’t completely understand what the KHC is. “We provide the Kansas equine industry with leadership and direction through education, promotion and public policy advocacy,” Staten explained.
“Regional directors and representatives are passionate about horses and the horse industry in Kansas,” Staten assured. “They are the link between what’s happening in your area and what’s happening at the KHC headquarters in Manhattan.”
Those representatives are said to help promote and inform keeping everyone updated and engaged in the Kansas equine industry. “They often assist with activities, planning regional meetings and events that bring us all together,” Staten added.
KHC is the state’s largest equine network providing members with access to purchase discounts and youth equine scholarships. “The KHC Foundation 501c3 was founded in 2003. It is to encourage learning and higher education pursuits of individuals involved in the equine industry,” Staten pointed out.
“An additional unique feature of the KHC is the horsemanship rewards program recognizing members for time spent enjoying their equine friends,” Staten said.
Students, individuals and family memberships automatically include a million dollar personal excess liability insurance policy. It provides protection in the event a horse does damage to person or property.
An equine economic impact survey is being conducted to assess the current economic contributions of the equine sector of Kansas. “Remember, data can help drive business growth such as a new tack store, arena or equine Extension specialist,” Staten reminded.
The Kansas Equine Directory features membership listings, horse events and trail riding opportunities. “Members can list equine services and businesses for free,” Staten said. “Make this the hub for all things equine in Kansas. Encourage your equine service providers too; it’s that easy.”
Kansas Horse Council license plates are available at county courthouses. “Show your love for horses and the horse industry in Kansas everywhere you drive,” Staten encouraged. “All are welcome and you don’t even need to be a current KHC member.”
KHC officers include Kallie Emig, Waverly, president; Marty Bloomquist, Tecumseh, vice president; Cheryl Thomas, Lyndon, secretary; Greg McDonald, Stilwell, treasurer; Dr. Craig Barnett, Paola, legislative representative; and Jana Barcus, Paola, technology.
Additional board members are Sheryl Strathman, Topeka; Shanda Mattix, Colby; Julie Carden, Burlington; Dr. Fred Gardner, Garnett; Dr. Chris Blevins, Manhattan; and Dr. Joann Kouba, Manhattan. Advisory board members include Pattie Stadler, Manhattan; Dr. Justin Janssen, Alma; and Jim Thomas, Lyndon.
Erin Glassman, Buhler, is a non-voting KHC director who is president of the Kansas Chapter of Back Country Horsemen of America.
Kansas Horse Council details are available at www.Kansashorsecouncil.com.
Those planning to participate in the parade and partake in the meal are requested to call 785-776-0662 or email [email protected]