Special rider awards and sponsor recognition highlighted presentations at the annual yearend banquet of the Blackjack Saddle Club in Leonardville.
“Our club has grown with record participation in all age divisions this year,” announced Albert De La Garza, president.
“We express sincere appreciation to the generous award sponsors and those providing arenas for our use,” De La Garza acknowledged.
Activities were at Cico Park and Burtis Arena, Manhattan; Little Apple Riders, St. George; and Diamond L Arena, Council Grove.
Sponsors were BB Ranch, Bergeron Family, Best Ever Saddle Pads, Diamond 5D, Equine Oxy-Gen, Flint Hills Leather, Little Apple Riders, Nelson’s Landing, Valley Vet and Vince’s Hoof Care.
Madison Hammond was presented the Perseverance Award. “We are presenting this trophy to Madison for her hard work and dedication,” De La Garza said. “She never gave up when things were incredibly difficult in the horseshow arena.
“After determining her horse Tucker had soundness issues, Madison rode Chance, a friend’s horse. With all of the hardship challenges, Madison still competed with a smile on her face,” De La Garza credited.
The Most Improved Rider trophy was presented to Joyce Troyer. “There were times when Joyce didn’t have the most confidence. Yet, with her great horse Trooper, Joyce became a tough competitor in the adult division,” De La Garza said.
“An energetic club volunteer, Joyce is a lifelong horse enthusiast still living her horseshow dreams as a grandma,” he added.
Volunteer of the Year Award was presented to Troy Warnken. “His daughters Trista and Genayla are riding for the second year in the Blackjack Saddle Club,” De La Garza noted. “Troy is being honored for his dedication, commitment and hard work serving as the arena director at our horse shows.
“Troy worked to make sure riders were in their classes in the arena to keep the shows moving without issues. He is a great example of what parent involvement is in the Blackjack Saddle Club,” De La Garza insisted.
The Blackjack Saddle Club hosted six point shows in 2019. Riders were presented with special certificates recognizing placing in the top six for event points accumulated throughout the show season.
Yearend highpoint and runner-up age group winners received trophy buckles while embossed halters were awarded third place division riders.
Ten and under: Hayden Nichols, 110 points; Ellie Sheldon, 94 points; Trista Warnken, 82 points.
Youth 11-17: Jeannie George, 82 points; Jocelynn Cox, 54 points; Brook Staten, 41 points.
Adults: Frank Buchman, 137 points; Michlynn St. John, 132 points; Danielle Stuerman, 69 points.
Speed event champions:
Ten and under: Katherine De La Garza, 98 points; Genayla Warnken, 89 points; Trista Warnken, 86 points.
Youth 11-17: Sydney Wapp, 118 points; Jaiden Thomas, 113 points; Macey Wapp, 76 points.
Adults: Frank Buchman, 100 points; Megan Wyrick, 56 points; Kristen De La Garza, 54 points.
Officers of the Blackjack Saddle Club for next year were installed. They include Albert De La Garza, president; Vicki Smith, vice president; Frank Buchman, secretary-reporter; Justin Staten and Myra George, co-treasurers; and Stacy Nicholas, points keeper.
“We welcome everyone to come participate in activities of the Blackjack Saddle Club,” President De La Garza invited.
Information is available at www.blackjacksaddleclub.com