Newcomerstown Saddle Club to host Fun Show July 18

Newcomerstown Saddle Club to host Fun Show July 18

There also are speed and control classes, a ball race, stake race, keyhole race, small fry barrels, and regular barrels.


The Newcomerstown Saddle Club is based at the Sunset Arena in Newcomerstown. The club offers members a place to exercise their horses and hosts four horse shows each year. The June show was canceled this year due to the pandemic.

The club will kick off summer with its first Contest Fun Show of the season on July 18, starting at 5 p.m. at its Sunset Arena.

Other shows on the schedule include another Contest Fun Show on Aug. 1 at 5 p.m. and an Open Horse Show on Aug. 22 at 5 p.m., which has a judge to determine the winners.

NSC member Irene Gano is looking forward to the events and the pageantry that opens each show.

“We start with the national anthem at every show and have a member on horseback take the flag around the arena before the start of every show,” Gano said.

A club member also sings the national anthem.

The number of entrants varies at each show, and NSC members help with the shows.

“It just depends on the weather and what else is going on. There are a lot of other shows going on including barrel racing shows, and we don’t try to work ours around that,” Gano said. “We have our shows when we know we have people here available to help us. Usually, we average around 15 horses that compete.”

The NSC has its own point system for those placing first through fourth. “They accumulate the points, and at the end of the season, we have a high-point youth and reserve winner and a high-point adult and reserve winner,” Gano said.

One of the prizes they can pick from is a chair embroidered with their name and the name of their horse on it.

There is plenty of parking available for trucks and horse trailers at shows. The NSC’s Sunset Arena is a safe place for everyone to enjoy and feel respected as each event flyer states abuse of any animal, rider or spectator will not be tolerated. Water is available for horses, and there is a lunch stand on the grounds.

“We are known for our big taco salads,” Gano said, adding they also have other menu favorites such as creamed-chicken sandwiches, sloppy joes and hot dogs.

The Contest Fun Shows are just as the name implies. “They do some fun things like ride and bribe, where they ride the horse down to the end of the arena and then they get off the horse and they bribe the horse, using a treat, to go back to the other side of the arena,” Gano said.

They have other fun classes including egg and spoon on horseback, cake walks, and an egg toss between the participants. There also are speed and control classes, a ball race, stake race, keyhole race, small fry barrels, and regular barrels. Most events are timed, and the person completing the class the fastest is the winner.

“At every show we have contesting this year, we are doing a $100 barrel class,” Gano said. “It is $5 to get in that class. The payoff is $40 for first place, $30 for second place, $20 for third place and $10 for fourth place.”

In general, fees for the Contest Fun Shows are $2 per entry per class. Participants can choose which classes they would like to participate in; there are 26 classes in the fun show. The fees for the Open Horse Show is $3 per class, and there are 31 classes to choose from.

The NSC has been based in Newcomerstown for around 40 years and was previously located near New Philadelphia. Membership varies from year to year, and many of the members use the facility to practice for 4-H horse events.

Gano and her husband, Richard, got involved with the club when their children were in 4-H. “It’s a lot of practice for the kids in 4-H with the horses; then I worked in the concession stand. People in the club come and go. We don’t have big crowds, but we keep it going,” she said.

The NSC is always looking for new members. There is no fee to join, but members are required to participate in work days to keep the Sunset Arena in good shape and help at the shows.

At a recent work day, the members gathered to paint the buildings on the property including the concession stand and entry booth, replace spouting, and clean the concession stand. Richard Gano and his brothers complete the day-to-day upkeep of the Sunset Arena.

“It’s there for people to practice. A lot of people have trouble finding areas to run their horses,” Gano said.

For more information visit the NSC page on Facebook.

The Sunset Arena is located at 6274 Kings Ridge Road in Newcomerstown.

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