ALEXANDRIA — Russ Clendenin attended the very first Moonsville Conservation Club Horse Fun Show in 1953.
Sunday, he was behind the mic for the 50th show. Some years, there hasn’t been one. Other years, they’ve had more than one. But it’s been a constant for Clendenin.
Unfortunately, there’s concern Sunday’s might have been the last one.
“For a lot of years, this was a big show and had big money prizes. Right now, it’s just a fun show for the kids. Something so they can get their horses out and enjoy themselves,” Clendenin said.
The majority of riders were children and teens, but not all of them. About 50 riders showed up on the steamy, sunny day for the friendly competition. Times were kept for more than 19 classes, but most riders were just out to have fun.
According to Clendenin, the Swindell family has purchased the Conservation Club’s pasture between Anderson and Alexandria on County Road 600 North, and there’s uncertainty whether the club will be able to continue its regular show in the future. But on Sunday, the participants were simply concerned with riding their horses.
“It’s a sibling competition,” said Ethan Gotwals, who attended the show with his sister Elizabeth.
Gotwals rode his quarter horse Petey at the show while his sister took two horses, a quarter horse named Annie and a palomino named Liberty. Like most of the younger riders in attendance, the Gotwalses were simply using the friendly show as a chance to see where they stand against family and friends. Ethan admitted, his sister had him beat on Sunday.
“Well, I just came with my speed horse, so she’s probably better than me today,” he said with a laugh.
The Gotwalses were just in Rushville at a show last weekend, when Ethan placed twice. He said the Moonsville show was a nice change of pace.
“It’s nice to just sit here and watch after you ride. Relax and see what everyone else is doing,” he said.
Some older riders found the show equally entertaining. Gary and Ruth-Ann Miller drove up from Daleville with their horses Dream and Yogi. More than anything, the couple just wanted to get their animals out for some exercise one last time this summer. Dream is about 8 years old but is still inexperienced in competitions.
The couple said they hope the conservation club is able to keep the show running somehow in years to come.
“We’ve been coming for the last four years, and it’s fun to get the horses out. It’s too bad this might be the last one, but we’ll see,” said Ruth-Ann Miller.
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