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Elk River Boots & Saddle Club to host spring show/fundraiser in Winfield Saturday

By Clint Thomas, Metro Reporter

The Elk River Boots & Saddle Club will host a Kicking in Spring 2017 program to prepare horses and their riders for the upcoming season.

The public event and fundraiser will be held on Saturday, March 18 at the Winfield Riding Club, 5449 W.Va. 34 in Winfield, getting underway at 10 a.m. Those attending are encouraged to bring their old tack and sell it at one of the 30-plus vendor spaces that will be on site.

Elk River Boots & Saddle Club President Alice Hardman Blankenship of Sissonville said the Blue Creek-based club is observing its 50th anniversary this year, under somewhat trying circumstances after last summer.

“We were damaged severely by the flood in June. We lost everything in our concession stand -- all of our refrigerators and stoves and everything we had stored in the concession stand. We’re rebuilding and we’re doing this because the Winfield Riding Club was gracious enough to offer us this opportunity and help us raise funds to rebuild our grounds,” Blankenship said.

While the Elk River Boots & Saddle Club is officially marking its golden anniversary in 2017, Blankenship said the group met unofficially for several years beforehand at the Elkview Shopping Plaza. When that property was purchased, the club relocated to Blue Creek. A Blue Creek resident at the time, she joined as a young girl. She said the club has one charter member remaining, Nancy Copenhaver, who lives in Florida now.

“It was designed to get kids involved in riding before they start doing the bigger shows. This was the place for you to come and bring the family and enjoy your horse, pony or mule or whatever you rode,” Blankenship said.

The Elk River Boots & Saddle Club meets on the first Monday of the month, either at the Dakota Stables in Sissonville or the Shoney’s restaurant on Kanawha Boulevard East in downtown Charleston. “Shoney’s has been very helpful in getting us back to have meetings. When the weather is right and the road is repaired, we hope to meet at our grounds again,” Blankenship said.

Saturday’s Kicking In Spring admission is by donation. “As a nonprofit organization,” Blankenship said, “we will be accepting any donations people are willing to give us to help us rebuild.”

Dr. Lynn Sparks of Sparks Equine Veterinary Services in Summersville will attend from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the red, indoor arena. Sparks will offer the following equine veterinary services:

• Annual examinations, $15

• Coggins (EIA) testing, $30

• Vaccinations:

-- Rabies, $17

-- Influenza, Rhinopneumonitis, EEE, WEE, Tetanus, $38

-- West Nile Virus, $31

-- Tetanus, $12.

Other vaccinations and services will be available upon request. If this is the first time a horse is being vaccinated, it will need a booster shot, typically between three or four weeks later.

RSVPs for Sparks’ services should be made by calling 304-619-0076 or

Selena Lucas will also attend the program, offering equine massage therapy by appointment. Make an appointment by RSVPing to 304-673-7629.

Farrier Zern Richardson will offer shoeing and trimming services. He will also demonstrate forge work.

Other demonstrations will take place, beginning at 10:30 a.m. They include:

• Mike Hurst and Tres Waugh: “Mustang Makeover -- The First Touch, Breaking and Training”

• Mark Dyer, “Healthy Hoof, Healthy Horse”

• Painter Farms, Performance Horse

• Selena Lucas, “Competitive Trail Riding”

• Stacie Belcher, Barrel Racing

• TRL Showstoppers, Show Ring Etiquette, Grooming.

The Mountain Grass Bluegrass Band will perform from 1 until 3 p.m. on Saturday, as well.

Concessions will be available during the event and raffles will be held.

For additional information about Saturday’s program or the club, contact the Elk River Boots & Saddle Club at 304-541-6399 or 304-553-9151 or, online, visit the club’s Facebook page or website,


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