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The UpRiver Saddle Club has high hopes for this year's participation as their first meeting saw a large turnout from local families. Pictured left to right: Kathy Wolter, Senior Princess Maci Yearout, Cindy Ford, Queen Mackenzie Nelson, Krista Gertje, Junior Princess Hunter Charles and Nicki Charles.

Returning members of the UpRiver Saddle Club say they don’t want to see the club disband.

The URSC has been providing family fun for 60 years and organizers hope for 60 more after a struggle to find members. This year could be looking up for the long time area club.

Last year the group had to reduce the amount of activities do to a lack of volunteers and COVID-19 concerns. The club only had a handful of volunteers and were only able to host a minimal number of events.

After the group’s first meeting last month, President, Cindy Ford, said that the club has high hopes for this years club turnout.

“I think things are a lot different this year, we had a really big first meeting and some other families that were involved before wanted to get back involved,” Ms. Ford said.

“We had a lot of new people we didn’t even know showing up asking what could they do to help.”

Ms. Ford said that the previous year there were fears of the club calling it quits all together. She said that some of the members were talking about shutting down the URSC arena for good.

“There were members talking about ripping out the fence, donating it and calling it quits,” Ms. Ford said. “We were asking ourselves are we just hanging on to the past should we let it go? Or should we see if it goes for 60 more years?”

Ms. Ford said that she has seen members who are now parents return to the area and are getting their children involved in the club they grew up with. She said that the return of these families and the return of past members will help the club run more programs this year.

Along with the annual O-Mok-See, the club would usually host multiple horse shows, pokers rides and holiday celebrations around Halloween and Christmas.

“With all the help we can survive and be even more active like when the younger generation was growing up. We used to be a really active club ,” Ms. Ford said. “We would finish one event and start another.”

She said that the younger members who have rejoined say that they want their children to have the same experiences, as being involved in the URSC in their youth had a large impact on their lives.

“I have girls saying that they have kids they want to grow up the way they grew up,” Ms. Ford said. “The URMC arena built them.”

The saddle club is still in search of more volunteers and are welcoming more club members. The 60th O-Mok-See is scheduled for the first weekend in August.

For more information or to join call Ms. Ford at 208-568-0854.

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