CANFIELD, Ohio – Eighty-three members and guests of the Buckeye Walking Horse Association gathered on Jan. 12 at A La Carte Catering in Canfield, Ohio to celebrate another year of success and growth.

This oldest walking horse club in Ohio, with its beginnings in the 1950s has represented and promoted every aspect of the breed throughout the years, and this night they met to honor the high point winners of 2007.

Commencing with a hospitality hour, the festivities coordinated by Laura Lindberg included more than just awards. Guest speaker and past president of the club, Denise Rowland, currently of Shelbyville Tenn., related fond memories of the BWHA and its members back in the 80 and 90s when she served. It was an evening filled with reminiscence. A table display of BWHA memorabilia told the history of the club and its members. Members recounted old times with each other throughout the evening.

Following a brief business meeting conducted by President Bruce Vaughn, the mike was turned over to the MC of the evening, treasurer Paul Szucs, to announce the winners. Presented by Point Secretary Joann Dowell, the wood and glass trophies and the tricolor ribbons went to horses and owners representing the best of the breed in halter classes, model, performance, park, lite-shod, plantation, country pleasure, versatility and trail and Spotted Saddle Horse classes. Friendly competition was apparent, with the winners being enthusiastically recognized by fellow club members.

The party got rolling when the live auction began. Mike Davis, auctioneer, along with “help” from his ring ladies solicited bids of extraordinary amounts. With an inside joke that runs year to year, horse treats brought close to $200, cakes bid out at $150, were then shared with members and tickets to the Cleveland Cavalier’s basketball games brought top dollar. Every horse and people related item (all donated by club members) sold at a premium. The bidding continued fast and furious on the BWHA directory pages, with the cover being “battled” over by a number of members. The fun was only outstripped by the success of this event. This year Buckeye was able to add about $7,000 to the club finances which they use to conduct three horse shows and promote the Tennessee Walking Horse.

As the party wound down and members left to return home, the talk was already of the coming show season, the excitement of new foals arriving and new horse purchases. Tennessee Walking Horse fever is running rampant in Ohio and the members of the Buckeye Walking Horse Association have not only caught it, they are spreading it at an epidemic rate!