(The following facts were derived from several previous and current members.)
The Casey Saddle Club, CSC, began around the year of 1956 at the home of W.O. Miller. The first shows were held behind the house. After a year or so, the club got too big, so it moved to what is now called the Mingles Pit, south of Casey, which was close to the home of Harlan Smith. After a couple of years at the Mingles Pit, the Casey Saddle Club asked the Casey Township Park for permission to have the horse shows at the park. After the CSC was granted permission, they started the move of the club house, which was bought from Virgil Freeman of Greenup for $35.00 and moved to Casey to the park. There were trees that had to be cut down and fence built. W.O. Miller and Darrell Hills hauled the sand to build the arena. The arena was built with the help of Hobie Glosser, Dick Short, W.O. Miller and Harlan Smith.
W.O. Miller and Harlan Smith started the CSC for the kids to have someplace to ride their ponies and horses. At that time there was not a lot of competition, it was designed for the kids to ride and families to get together for the day. The women would bring pies, make sandwiches and sell pop at the concession stand. It has been said that even in the winter, you could go to the saddle club building on a Saturday night and people would be there visiting.
At the time when the CSC was started, you did not have the nice horse trailers that you see today. Most people rode their horses and ponies to the show in the morning and back home in the evening. Others would haul their horses in the back of their truck with or without stock racks, while a few folks had homemade horse trailers to haul their steeds in.
In 2001, a new group of members took over the CSC. Improvements to the site that were made were removing of the old concession building, that had been moved to the site over 40 years prior, the building of the new concession stand, installing new center gates on the West end, moving the starting pointing to the West end from the East end and in 2008, moved the announcers stand to the West end.
Some of the original classes included barrels, pole bending, rescue race, Pony Express, and plug, in addition to other classes. Most of the original shows had about 20-30 people in attendance.
Some of the original members included the Hobie Glosser family, Harlan Smith family, W O Miller family, and Darrel Hills family. Later, other families became involved including the Harold Whitling family, Bill Crouch family, Curly Kuhn family, Jerry Richardson family, Brad Haumesser family, Chuck Washburn family, Shorty Logue family as well as many others.
Quarter Horse shows and Appaloosa Horse shows were some of the specialty breed shows that the saddle club hosted. Added money shows also became popular throughout the years. Witnesses remember the park being full of horse trailers and shows lasting into the wee hours of the morning. Many times, people would travel for several hours to take part in these huge money shows, where large amounts of money could be won. People enjoyed showing at the Casey Saddle Club because of the beautiful park and the wonderful shade trees. Most arenas are not surrounded by so many trees.
Traditionally, a horse show was held every July 4th up until the late 1980s. This tradition was reinstated in 2007 with all of the show proceeds being donated to the Shriner's Children's Hospital. In 2007, over $550 was raised for the hospital. The Casey Saddle Club was entered into the Gold Book at the hospital for making a donation over $500.
There are several stories about the Casey Saddle Club, and we are going to try and capture as many as we can. If you have any interesting story, please e-mail it to us so we can update the site with the information.