by Kay Swisher

HARRISONBURG, Va. - Saturday, Jan. 31, found an early celebration of Mardi Gras at Panos in the center of the Shenandoah Valley. The Shenandoah Valley Horseman's Association honored the 2008 show season champions at its annual winter banquet. Past President Mary Swecker welcomed everyone for the evening. Angie Shiflet led the dinner invocation prior to a delicious buffet enjoyed by everyone.

Mary Swecker began the evening awards program by introducing the youth members of the association who were to be voted on for Juvenile Rider of the 2008 show season. By majority secret ballot, Heather Moss was voted for this prestigious award.

The officers for 2009 were introduced: President Stanley Powell, Vice President Steve Knight, Secretary Dana Powell and Treasurer Sandra Freeze. The Board of Directors include Mary Swecker, Rick Maiden, Darren Powell, Bill Reel and Danny Moyers.

It was announced the Spring Shenandoah Valley Horseman’s Association show will be held Saturday, May 23, at the Bridgewater show grounds. The monthly meetings are held on the third Sunday of each month at Panos in Harrisonburg.

Mary Swecker and President Stanley Powell presented the awards to the 2008 show season champions. Following the awards program, the group danced the night away, enjoyed good fellowship and had fun bidding on various articles in the silent auction.