Stark County Chapter               Ohio Horsemans Council

The Ohio Horseman's Council Inc. (OHC) is a non-profit corporation organized in the state of Ohio to provide a vehicle for equine owners and supporters to share ideas and suggestions for all horse related issues, through education, organized trail rides, and other social and service functions. We provide resources to promote the building and maintenance of bridle trails throughout the state of Ohio and provide financial resources and volunteer services to fellow organizations that support equine related activities.

While OHC does have biannual State Meetings, monthly County Chapter meetings offer the best opportunity for folks with a common interest in a local area to socially interact. OHC enhances communication among horsemen, providing an opportunity to network and develop strategies to achieve common goals.

The Ohio Horseman's Council started in 1972 as a grass roots movement of horse people who felt that an organization with neither breed affiliation nor private interest to serve was needed to represent horsemen of Ohio. By 1974, OHC was officially incorporated and joined the American Horse Council. There, OHC learned how horsemen in other states solved zoning and bureaucratic problems. To date, there are more public riding areas in Ohio than in all the adjoining states combined.

STARK CO OHC Chapter was founded Jan. 29, 1979 by a group of concerned horse persons.  They met to discuss the possibilities of joining OHC and starting a chapter for 3 counties, Stark, Carroll, and Tuscarawas.  Stark Co had President, Dick Baus - Vice President, Dick Wentling – Secretary, Jane Smyth and Treasurer, Mary Ann Walter.  Dick Baus, Bob Chovan, Al Zaleski & Dick Wentling attended the State OHC Meeting 2/24/79 in Xenia, Ohio.

They had the first meetings at The Red Dog family Restaurant.  Al Zaleski & Tosh Norman owned it.  They had board meetings, reg. meetings & banquets there for quite a while.  Pat Battista remembers riding there & tying up outside to go to the meetings.

In the early records they did not include membership lists.  So some of these names are not in the right order.  We found Linda Miller, Penny Malavite, Pam Goldsworthy, Lois Henson, Jan Slutz, Betty Holland, Thelma Armstrong Dyer, Pat Battista, Jan David & Shirley Smith as early members.

They used to have some competive trail rides at Malavites and worked a lot of the Haunted Woods and Rodeos at Bear Creek.

In 1986 they were still having all 3 county meetings and joint council meetings.  The joint council meetings included Tusc Co, Stark Co, Carrol Co, Holmes Co, Massillon Saddle Club, Buckeye Trail Riders, Tri-Co and Country Estates Pony Club.  The meetings stopped shortly after this.

Back in the day they rented a bus to go to Cleveland to the Rodeo a couple of times, to Columbus to tour Ohio State and to West Va. to the horse races.  We also did a lot of car parking & worked the beer stand for Lee Soehnlen & the Rodeo & various concerts he had at Bear Creek.  Eventually the Rodeo moved to Gus Malavites and then down to Dover Fairgrounds.  Then most of our meetings were held at Bill Natali's barn.  They also rented a lot of movies for the meetings and toured Hannon Frisian Farm, Locust Arabian Farm, Schneider Thoroughbred Farm.  We used to have quite a few progressive barn parties which were a lot of fun.  Mary Hill used to host the costume Halloween Parties at her farm on Riceford.

Over the years Stark has done a lot of work with other counties to help them start a camp ground & trail system.  Cuyahoga Valley, Salt Fork, Beaver Creek, Tappan, Jefferson, Harrison, Mohican and Pleasant Hill to name a few.  Hank & Jerry Fitch, Gloria Deeser, Ron & Pat Hoffman, Jan David, Al Walter, Stacy McGill, Thelma Armstrong & Pat Battista all did a lot of work to start the trails at Salt Fork and on opening up the campgrounds there.

Through all these years Mary Hill, Stacy McGill and I are the oldest members mentioned in the meeting notes that are still active in OHC.  That is not to say that we are the only ones.  We have a really good group of active people in our chapter now.  Last year in 2013 our chapter has the honor of having the 2013 OHC State Gibby Award Winner Jo Ellen Reikowski (her picture is posted on the next page)as a member.  And that award is not easy to get.  It takes years of dedication and hard work.  So if you would like to find out what is going on today in Stark County Ohio Horseman's Council please attend one of our meetings and see for yourself.

Submitted by Jill Eckroad

New -Detailed list of officers & trustees pdf file see below

OHC is also a member of the following:
- North Country Trail Association
- Ohio to Erie Trail Association
- Rails to Trails Conservancy
- Morris Animal Foundation
- Buckeye Trail Association

STARK CO OHC works with the Stark Park District to allow equine use on their trails.

STARK CO OHC has adopted the horse trails at Quail Hollow State Park.

OHC was an influencing factor in the adoption of Limited Horse Liablilty Law.

We are a non-profit, family oriented organization dedicated to working with all areas of the horse industry to establish and maintain public trails. You can stay informed of current concerns affecting the industry, meet other horse people and learn new things. Become a member and you will receive a subscription to Horseman's Corral and the Stark Co. OHC newsletter to keep you informed of local and state wide events.

Membership in the OHC means being part of a growing equine community with over 3,800 members throughout Ohio (as of 2008) that live by the motto;
"Horsemen Helping Horsemen"

No matter the gait, the color or breed

We live to ride our mighty steed.

So be kind to each other, for we're on the same team.

We ride the same trails and have the same dream.

As a member, you are working to bring attention to the needs of horse owners.
Basic Membership Benefits:
Promote equine interests at the State level
Subscription to the Corral magazine and OHC newsletter
Legislative and regulatory updates
Purchasing Package - discounts for OHC members
Equestrian activities for all breeds and disciplines
Youth program

Plus Membership Benefits:
All the benefits of the Basic Membership Plan PLUS -
$1 Million Dollar Equine Excess Limited Liability Insurance

STARK CO OHC Chapter History.pdf
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