CLUB HISTORY    (1993- 2024)                                                                                                                                                                         It is always interesting to know a “Bit” about one’s history and how it came to be. A small herd of trail riders over near Rama were getting together most weekends and sometimes through the week to pleasure ride and have a little fun. There were other riding clubs running. CHAPS were hosting local horse shows. Couchiching Trail Riders were barely holding together as well as a riding group from the Coldwater area. Eventually the small clique decided they would like to form a little barn club and they called themselves TREO. (Trail Riders of East Orillia. Est. 1993.) Bill MacDonald’s farm was the Corral of the group and so it was fitting that he was the founder/ president. We each put in $5 to support any gatherings we would have. Monies were kept on a shelf in his kitchen in a coffee can. By 1994, there were 36 memberships. We had a Newsletter and phone committee to keep the herd informed of events and dates. Everyone was involved at this time. As membership grew the spring of 1994, it was determined that the group needed to become more accountable for the funds and become more formally organized. Bill decided to dismount as he was not interested in corralling a large formal herd of people and a bank account. A large bunch of interested parties huddled together in the basement @ Linda and Larry Thomason’s home on Carlyon Line in Orillia to discuss where the club should go. Since the focus of the group was not predominantly in Ramara and more towards the northern rural parts of Orillia and surrounding area it was decided that we should rename the group to be fair to Bill. We became NORTH RIVER RIDERS. Our first NRR president was Jennifer Parsons. Marsha Wilson became the treasurer and Barb Clare was the secretary. Linda Thomason continued with the newsletter with the help of Jonna Hepworth. NRR was established the spring of 1994. A list of Presidents and Vice Presidents (who were required to take the reins part way through a term) to date are listed in alphabetical order: Murray BURNETT,  Barb CLARE_POWELL, Wayne MORRIS, Cheryl NEW, Marlene STEWART (V), Tracey STEEVES, Gail STOVER, Kelly WALTERS, Taylor WALTERS and  Irene WILES (P). As CHAPS, Couchiching Trail Riders and the riding group from Coldwater disbanded, they gradually joined the new grass roots of North River Riders and our membership grew. A copy of our 1994 Spring Newsletter attached for interest (before the name changed). Remember that Computers were very basic and just a more advanced typewriter during this time. Technology is far more advanced now. Thank Goodness, even though I am still a dinosaur. It was discovered early that as a club we could join the Ontario Trail Riders Association and get in on all of the rides they offered throughout the season. So joined; we did. Note: Groups are no longer able to join as a group and membership is on an individual basis. I personally still purchase an annual membership and advertise their rides in our agenda. Robyn McPherson (past-member) offered to organize a fun show. Once the fun show became more competitive, and Judging was required, Robyn stepped down from this task to allow someone with more experience to take over the reins. Fun shows were attended well at that time as we went to go and have some laughs and visits with friends. These were social events rather than showing and well attended. Times have changed and NRR appears to be in a cycle of change once again, but it was the grass roots club that we all wish to remember and be proud of. Some clubs fall because too much ambition comes in too quickly and the trotting pace soon fades as the energy cannot be maintained by a simple few. We need to have those grass roots to help us maintain that healthy balance. We need to have volunteers to be involved in many aspects of the club from the show ring, drill, clinics, community social events and parades, and out to the trails. This was the original vision of North River Riders. Everyone saddled up to the tasks. Many hooves make light pulls of the Stagecoach. We can all spur on beyond blame, competition, misunderstanding and mistrust and rodeo together, rather than on parallel tracks and loggerheads, to allow North River Riders to have a well-bred future as we gallop forward leaving a legacy of lasting impacting hoof prints. Our latest rodeo together, with the Orillia District Agricultural Society, during the first week of May refurbished a new gaming pen ready for the first horse show of the 2015 season. Forward Ho! And North River Riders has been hosting the Annual Diabetes Ride-A Thon trail ride in conjunction with the Diabetes Association for the past 20 years. Prior to that, it was a member Barb Clare who had founded and organized the event. It was the 32nd annual in  June 2017. North River Riders Horse Club is  an integral part of the surrounding community.                            Giddy Up & Happy Trails!         Barb Clare-Powell - 2021 President




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