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History

Brief History

On Jan. 13, 1974, at a gathering of approximately 25 enthusiastic trail riders and interested persons, the Oklahoma Trail Riders Association was voted into being. The constitution was formed, by-laws were written, and officers were elected at this first meeting which was held at the Capron farm home at Edmond, Oklahoma. The OTRA (later changed to OETRA) was "established for the purpose of promoting all phases of trail riding as a family activity, and to educate the public as to the care and conditioning of horse for trail activities." The second OTRA meeting was held in February at the Harrah Round Up Club house and featured State Veterinarian, Dr. Espe, who gave an informative program on EIA. This subject was discussed many times in subsequent meetings and finally resulted in a firm vote at the December 1975 meeting to require all horses entered in our rides to have a recent negative Coggins Test. Many of those included in OTRA's first membership were keenly interested in competitive and endurance riding. So it was natural that OTRA's first attempt at a competitive ride was the "OTRA Schooling Ride" held on May 18, 1974 at Draper Lake. They had 16 entries and made #10. In November 1974, OTRA sponsored a 50-mile, 2-day Competitive Ride at Robbers Cave State Park at Wilburton and there were 17 riders. In October 1999, OETRA celebrated its 25th Silver Anniversary with a weekend gala hosted at the Arrowhead State Park Equestrian trails.

OETRA is a 501(c)4 not-for-profit organization.

OETRA honors these Charter Members

  • Cecil Bernard
  • Sam and Ann Burnsed
  • Susan Friend
  • Marjorie Lay
  • Kathryn Paul

Full History

On January 13, 1974, at a gathering of approximately 25 enthusiastic trail riders and interested persons, the Oklahoma Trail Riders Association was voted into being. The constitution was formed, by-laws were written , and officers were elected at this first meeting which was held at the Capron farm home in Edmond, Oklahoma. 1974 officers were: Goldon Salsgiver, President; Leory Skinner, Vice President; Sue Capron, Secretary-Treasurer. Directors elected were Johnny Bruesch; Mary-lynne Magers, Marjorie Lay and Lewis Magers. Vicki Williams was appointed the first “Trail Rider” editor. Vicki later moved and Sue Capron published the newsletter for the remainder of 1974.

The OTRA (later changed to OETRA) was “established for the purpose of promoting all phases of trail riding as a family activity and to educate the public as the care and conditioning of the horse for trail activities.”

The second OTRA meeting was held in February at the Harrah Round Up Clubhouse and featured State Veterinarian Dr. Espe who gave an informative program on EIA. This subject was discussed many times in succeeding meetings and finally resulted in a firm vote at the December 1975 meeting to require all horses entered in our rides to have a recent negative coggins test.

Many of those included in OTRA's first membership were keenly interested in competitive and endurance riding: Sue & Reece Capron had been involved in management of the Robbers Route Ride for many years; and Marjorie Lay, Johnnie Sue Largest, Sherre Key, Jo Long, Mary-lynne Magers, Sharon Pappas, John Bruesch and Bud Smith had all entered the Indian Territory Competitive Ride in August 1973, which was the first NATRC ride ever held in this region. Ken Whitwell, Sam & Ann Burnsed, and Gene Key were in management of that first ride. So it was natural that OTRA's first attempt at a competitive ride was the OTRA Schooling Ride held on May 18, 1974 at Draper Lake. We had 16 entries and made $10. In November 1974, OTRA sponsored a 50-mile, 2-day Competitive Ride at Robbers Cave State Park at Wilburton. Bud Smith was Ride Chairman and there were 17 riders. First place winners in that ride were: Wm. Cecil Bernard, Heavyweight; Marjorie Lay, Lightweight; and Kathy Bernard in the Junior Class who also took sweepstakes.

Meeting places for the remainder of the year including:

  • March 1974 we met at the home of Mary Magers and Sharon Pappas. Rosalind Taylor was guest speaker and taught us how to take pulse and respiration on a short pleasure ride. Don Hoyt showed slides and movies taken on his pleasure rides around the state.
  • April 1974 meeting was an Easter Egg Hunt on horseback at Draper Lake. Riders hunted ribbons in the trees on a seven-mile-ride and were awarded miscellaneous prizes.
  • The May 1974 meeting was held at the Skinner residence close to Draper Lake which ws to be the campsite for the upcoming schooling ride.
  • June 1974 was our first ride and meeting at Robbers Cave State Park near Wilburton.
  • The July and August combined meeting was a moonlight trail ride at the Lexington Hunting Area.
  • The September meeting was held at Robbers Cave State Park in conjunction with the RR ride.
  • Dr. Bill Porter was guest speaker at the October meeting held at the Edmond Round Up Club.
  • We met at the home of Bob and Marjorie Lay in Choctaw for the November 1974 meeting and had a trail workout in their arena.
  • After a hard year of organizing the new Club and learning about competitive riding, members gathered at the Capron home again for the December meeting and Christmas party, where holiday food, singing and games were enjoyed by a happy group. A plaque was given to Leroy Skinner in appreciation of his hard work and leadership as Vice President for the year. Leroy had taken leadership of the Club after Gordon Salsgiver resigned in March.
  • January 1975 found us at the Harrah Round Up Clubhouse again for our largest meeting ever. Sharon Saare gave her presentation with slides and movies covering all phases of trail riding to a capacity, standing room-only crowd. Sue Capron distributed pamphlets describing the outrider program in connection with the Wagon Train to be crossing the country in celebration of the Bicentennial year. Members were also asked to sign and return petitions in support of funding the Oklahoma Trails System. Due to the lengthy January program, Leroy postponed election of officers until February when we met at St. Gregory's College in Shawnee and elected the following officers for 1975; Cecil Bernard, President; Sue Capron, Vice President; Marjorie Lay, Secretary-treasurer. Leroy Skinner and Ed Weathers were elected Directors for two years; Johnny Bruesch and Mary-lynne Magers having one

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