Santa on a merry go round

Odd numbered months will have a membership and board meeting. Even numbered months we will have an activity and board meeting. This month Board meeting this month December 21. December activity is the Christmas Party to be held on December 11.
President: Marcia Gray, 443-2679

Vice-President (open)

Secretary: Kate Hollandsworth, 492-7206

Treasurer: Sheri Onstott, 431-1014


Trail Rides: Cassy Lynn

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,

From our President --- Marcia Gray

Merry Christmas Helena Trail Riders! We hope you all have a great time at the Christmas Party this year.

We have elections coming up at our January 18, 2017 meeting, so please come to run for an office, or a directorship, and to vote. We really need to have a lot of members attend this important time for our club.

Carol Ham, our Social/Public Relations Director, is in the hospital. We wish her well and hope she can come home soon. Carol has been decorating the clubhouse with seasonal items before every meeting. It has really made the clubhouse welcoming. Thank you, Carol, for your efforts to make the clubhouse look inviting.

Our condolences to the family of Bernie Lionberger who passed away in November. Bernie was a member of the Helena Trail Riders for several years.

If anyone has ideas for programs for our club meetings, please let one of the directors know. It is your club and needs to be responsive to your expectations. See you all in January!

Marcia Gray, President

Anyone with suggestions for programs or activities, please come to a meeting and share, or let a board of directors member know what you would like to see or hear about.

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 doesnít 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
joke about a horse and woman running free

Trail Rides, Cassy Lynn

No current rides scheduled. If you have questions please contact Cassy at her e-mail address,
horses and riders in the snow

General Patton and Lippazaner


The Lipizzans endured several wartime relocations throughout their history, each of which saved the breed from extinction. The first evacuation of the 20th century occurred in 1915 when the horses were evacuated from Lipica due to World War I and placed at Laxenburg and Kladrub. The animals were divided between several different studs in the new postwar nations of Austria, Italy, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Romania and Yugoslavia. The nation of Austria kept the stallions of the Spanish Riding School and some breeding stock. By 1920, the Austrian breeding stock was consolidated at Piber.

During World War II, the high command of Nazi Germany transferred most of Europe's Lipizzan breeding stock to Hostau, Czechoslovakia. The stallions of the Spanish Riding School were evacuated to St. Martins, Austria from Vienna in January 1945, when bombing raids neared the city and the head of the Spanish Riding School, Colonel Alois Podhajsky, feared the horses were in danger. By spring of 1945, the horses at Hostau were threatened by the advancing Soviet army, which might have slaughtered the animals for horse meat had it captured the facility.

The rescue of the Lipizzans by the United States Army, made famous by the Disney movie Miracle of the White Stallions, occurred in two parts: The United States Third Army under the command of General George S. Patton, was near St. Martins in the spring of 1945 and learned that the Lipizzan stallions were in the area. Patton himself was a horseman, and like Podhajsky, had competed in the Olympic Games. On May 7, 1945, Podhajsky put on an exhibition of the Spanish Riding School stallions for Patton and Undersecretary of War Robert P. Patterson, and at its conclusion requested that Patton take the horses under his protection.

Meanwhile, the Third Army's United States Second Cavalry, a tank unit under the command of Colonel Charles Reed, had discovered the horses at Hostau, where there were also 400 Allied prisoners of war, and had occupied it on April 28, 1945. "Operation Cowboy", as the rescue was known, resulted in the recovery of 1,200 horses, including 375 Lipizzans. Among the soldiers was Bud Brickman, a Montana boy who had grown up on a horse ranch outside of Red Lodge, Montana.

Patton learned of the rescue, and arranged for Podhajsky to fly to Hostau. On May 12, American soldiers, including Bud, began riding, trucking and herding the horses 35 miles across the border into Kotztinz, Germany.

The Lipizzans were eventually settled in temporary quarters in Wimsbach, until the breeding stock returned to Piber in 1952, and the stallions returned to the Spanish Riding School in 1955. In 2005, the Spanish Riding School celebrated the 60th anniversary of Patton's rescue by touring the United States.

(More on Budís involvement can be seen on youtube:


Club Contacts:

Helena Trail Riders- Vickie Blixt 442-1717

Gone with the Wind Ė Peggy Huntington 459-2161

Western Patriots- Patsy Althof 439-8916

Helena Valley Blues Ė Moriah Parker 202-5729

Remember: West Arena Schedule is (exclusive use) every Tuesday and Thursday and the first Friday of the month. Donít 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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Mare trying on horse shoes

Horses wearing Santa hats

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