On June 8, 1947 a dream came true for a small group of avid horse owners – the Woodstock Riding Club was created. A few months before, cards were sent to area horse owners regarding the organization of a club dedicated to and for horses and the people who loved and cared for them.
The first elected officers were Tome Brown, President; Virgil VanWagonen, Vice President; Louise VanWagonen, Treasurer; and Alice Mundy, Secretary. The first Board of Directors included all officers plus Ned Chase, Paul Perlman, George Hard, and Winsley Muller. The first scheduled social activities were square dances, followed by a trail ride in late spring. A score of hardy riders and their mounts plowed through mud and cold to share their first ride and lunch at the Calico Ranch in Lake Hill.
As the club began to organize horse shows, a committee headed by Jerry Jerominek and guided by attorney Martin Comeau filed papers to incorporate. By October 1947, the Woodstock Riding Club, Inc. boasted a membership of 83. They applied for and received membership in the American Horse Shows Association. The present club emblem was designed by club member and prominent cartoonist Edmond Good.
Early in January, 1949, Mr. and Mrs. Victor Cannon offered the Board of Directors an option on a 19 acre tract at the base of Ohayo Mountain. Members each pledged several hundred dollars to purchase the land and membership built the barns that are still on the grounds. Over the years, the WRC has hosted a full slate of horse shows each season. Clinics and special events are part of each year’s schedule and every season ends with an awards banquet honoring high point horses and riders.
However, no club or organization can be judged on shows alone. It rests on the foundations laid down by those who have cared and worked to further their ideals. There have been hard working members who have come and gone, those who have become less active but still have a deep rooted affection for horses, and the more recent members who work hard to preserve a cherished tradition.
Board of Directors
Ralph VanKleeck President
Roberta Jackson Vice President
Susan Leiching Secretary
Roxanne Churchill Treasurer