Snoopy hiding Easter eggs

Board Meets: 5:30 p.m. monthly on the third Wednesday / This month April 19

President: Marcia Gray, 443-2679

Kim copeland, 439-4320
Treasurer: Sheri Onstott, 431-1014


Trail Rides: Rory Copeland, 459-8093

Building/ Maintenance: Bill Gray, 443-2679

Historian: Shirley Herrin, 442-8858

O-Mok-See: Keith Herrin, 461-3614

Public Relations/Social (Combined this year): Carol Ham, 458-9779

Director Representatives: Vicky Blixt, Montana Saddle Club Assoc, 202-2355,

Grey foals sniffing daffodils
From our President --- Marcia Gray

Hello Helena Trail Riders, This April 1st was a first for Bill and I. There were no sink sprayers taped shut, the silverware was in its usual spot, and the water came on when we turned the faucet. After so many years of falling for April Fool’s jokes, this one was quiet and uneventful - due to no kids in the house. There are, however, ticks on the horses instead. A bad twist on a joke, I think.

Appreciation for several volunteers:

Heather Hollandsworth has agreed to be program director. As you know, she is a great communicator with technology, and is in the know with what is going on horse-wise in the Elliston, Deer Lodge and Helena communities. She does appreciate someone letting her know of any wish-list you may have for programs.
Speaking of.... Keith Herrin gave a spring tune-up talk at our last meeting about things to watch out for before that first spring ride. Keith's most recent teaching experience has been taking tenderfoots, and making them passable riders in 8 days. As in many other sports, we have to learn to control the stop and know what to do when you are over your head in a situation. Transferring someone else's experiences into helpful hints for self -preservation is my kind of learning.

Thanks to those who helped supervise the Clubhouse during the High School Rodeo. Some made coffee for the judges, who really appreciated it. Donating hours to the club were Lisa Barnes, Bill Inama, Bill Gray, Kate Hollandsworth, Vicki Blixt, Carol Ham and Heather and Ryker Hollandsworth. You may wonder about the white rope ties on the cabinets until you remember what it is like to contain a toddler who is fascinated with opening cupboard doors. The Helena High School Rodeo kids will be helping clean the building and fix what not at the West arena in lieu of paying dollars for use of our building once a month.

Bill Gray, maintenance, has set the clubhouse and arena clean-up and repair for April 29th weather permitting. We will start at 10:00 a.m., stop midday for a potluck, then finish what we need to. The club will provide hot dogs and hamburgers (we may need buns) and you may bring a salad or dessert to share. It is a Saturday, so we may have to do another one mid-week to be able to have the rodeo kids' help. We need light bulbs changed and some floors scrubbed among other tasks. The new furnace filter has been changed (has it already been 6 months?) and the longtime leaks in the roof have been located. Because our roof is so steep, we will need a professional roofer to seal around the stacks in the roof.

April 19th is our next meeting. Hope to see you there! Marcia Gray, President

Any member can contribute to the Pony Tales. For sale or wanted items and articles must be to Sharon by the 10th of each month.

It is important that no Helena Trail Rider member is left out of the loop because he/she doesn’t have the latest social communication device. Please let us know of any member who is not receiving the newsletter either via e-mail or by snail-mail. Send items you wish included in the newsletter to

Riders crossing a stream

Trail Rides Hi --- I've been working on trail rides for the year. What I would like to do is have a trail ride on the first Saturday of every month. I would like our first trail ride to be Saturday, May 6 in the area of the old ghost town of Elkhorn, south of Boulder, Montana.

In addition to this, I would like the folks that are retired to be able to ride on Wednesdays. I think we should meet at the Hardware Café in Montana City at 9 o'clock. We can have breakfast and then leave about 10. If the weather is not good let's just meet and talk about horses.

I have guided in the mountains for more than 20 years. I have lots of experience with trail horses and the tack that they use. If anyone needs any help, or ideas on what works in the mountains, please feel free to contact me by email at or at 459-8093.

If there is any interest - I think it would be nice to contact a horse trainer and take one of our arena days to help some people get their horses trail ready. Please let me know what your ideas are.

I will start the Wednesday gatherings at the Hardware Café in Montana City on the 12th of this month. I will be there at 9 o'clock for coffee. I don't think the weather will be good enough to go riding. So let's just get together and talk horses.

I hope to see you on Wednesday, or at least on Saturday, May 6 to go for our first ride. Blessings, Rory Copeland

Club Contacts:

Helena Trail Riders- Vickie Blixt 442-1717

Gone with the Wind – Peggy Huntington 459-2161

Western Patriots- Patsy Althof 439-8916

Helena Valley Blues – Moriah Parker 202-5729

Remember: West Arena Schedule is (exclusive use) every Tuesday and Thursday and the first Friday of the month. Don’t forget to check on all Helena Trail Riders information posted to the website (including past copies of Pony Tales). Suggestions or corrections to Cheryl Bryant

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Joke about horses jumping so high because they have frogs in their feet

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Kentucky Derby Race

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9 Facts You Probably Didn’t Know About The Kentucky Derby by Emily Thomas

“The Greatest Two Minutes In Sports” is set to kick off in Louisville, Kentucky, on Saturday, May 6, 2017. At the 143rd Kentucky Derby, women will parade the most fashionable and elaborate of hand-crafted hats, bets will made for and against the top 3-year-old thoroughbred horses in the game, and barrels of bourbon will be consumed.

That’s all well-known fodder, but the annual horse race, which lasts just over two minutes, has a bizarre and fascinating history.

Here are nine things you probably didn’t know about the Derby:

Each year, about 120,000 mint juleps are consumed at Churchill Downs. The official drink of the Derby is traditionally made with Kentucky bourbon, simple syrup, crushed ice, powdered sugar and mint.

The fastest horse in Derby history was Secretariat, who in 1973 finished the 1 ¼ mile distance race with of a time of 1:59.40. Only two other horses in Derby history have crossed the finish line in under two minutes, according to ESPN. Sham, who ran second to Secreatriat and Monarchos, in 2001 Secretariat also holds the record for the Preakness and the Belmont Stakes..

There have been 19 winning horses in the Kentucky Derby whose names began with the letter “S.”

In 2012, the Derby set a record for wagering with more than $187 million bets on the races (combined total from both on and off-track bets). In 2011, the total was about $165 million, according to Churchill Downs data.

Each year, more than 400 red roses are used in the rose blanket draped around the winner of the Derby. In 1925, a columnist dubbed the Kentucky Derby the “Run for the Roses,” according to

According to ESPN, former slave Ansel Williamson was the trainer of the Derby’s first winning horse, Aristides, in 1875. The winning jockey, Oliver Lewis, was also African-American, the Kentucky Derby Museum notes.

In 1970, Diane Crump became the first woman to ride in the Derby. Author and journalist Hunter S. Thompson mentioned her in his essay “The Kentucky Derby is Decadent and Depraved,” which was published later that year. No female trainer has ever won the Derby, but in 1992, Shelley Riley became the closest female trainer to winning. Her horse, Casual Lies, came in second place.

In 1892, only three horses ran in the Derby, making it the smallest field in the race’s history, CNN notes.

Alonzo “Lonnie” Clayton was the youngest jockey in Derby history to win a race. He was 15 years old when he won in 1892. The oldest jockey to win was Willie Shoemaker, who won the 1986 race at age 54.

Secretariat and Ron Turcotte 1973 Kentucky Derby
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Kentucky Derby
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Belmont Stakes

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