Fredonia riding club

Fredonia Valley Riding Club opens its Buckle Series barrel racing and poles competition Saturday at its facility in Caldwell County.

With two shows this season already canceled due to a pandemic and Mother Nature, Fredonia Valley Riding Club is eager to get its first competition of the season underway.

The first of five series events featuring riders and their horses in barrel racing and poles competition is slated for 6 p.m. Saturday at Fredonia Valley Riding Club. The Buckle Series will continue on the second Saturday of each month through September with competitors earning points toward a season title.

“Each placing rider receives points at each show, and the riders with the most points at the end of the series receive rewards at the end of the year,” explains Michelle Travis, a community volunteer helping promote the event.

The series is off to a late start with the April show canceled amid the height of the coronavirus outbreak and lockdown. In May, it was rain the delayed the opening match.

For more than a half-century, Fredonia Valley Riding Club has been entertaining crowds and giving horse riders and their animals a chance to show off their bond and the skills they have learned together.

Saturday’s competition will offer pee wee riders 10 and under and older youth a chance to run both barrels and poles in their respective class. Adults will ride in barrels only. Both barrels and poles will offer an open class. Entry fees range from $10 to $25 based on class, with a 70% payback.

Training for riders begins at 4 p.m., two hours before competition. The cut-off time for entering is just before the start of the class in which the rider wants to enter.

“We have had entries from several counties around us and Indiana … and maybe Tennessee and Illinois,” Travis said.

She said the goal of barrel and pole racing is running a fast race with no mistakes. But it is also about having fun.

“It’s a great opportunity to show off horse-and-rider training and unity,” she added.

The riding club is funded by a $5 per vehicle gate, entry fees and donations that help maintain the grounds and facility to keep it in “tip-top shape.”

“Many participants have expressed how nice our facility is in Fredonia,” Travis said.

Concessions will be available at Saturday’s Buckle Series premiere. Due to ongoing concerns over the COVID-19 outbreak, masks and social distancing will be encouraged.

Fredonia Valley Riding Club is located on Dalton Road between Fredonia and Princeton. For more information, call Travis at 270-625-6936.