HISTORY OF BATTLE GROUND SADDLE CLUB
As of August, 2007
The original Battle Ground Saddle Club was formed in the late 1940's to early 1950's. All of the names are not known, but the original membership included the following:
Mr. & Mrs. Charles Gerhart
Mr. & Mrs. Ray Booth
Mr. & Mrs. Fred Huch
Mr. & Mrs. Kenny Horton
Mr. & Mrs. George Dawkins
Mr. & Mrs. Oley Belvins
Mr. & Mrs. Art Saunders
Mr. & Mrs. Gerald Wright
The Ellison Family
Mr. & Mrs. Bob Mills
Mr. & Mrs. Duke Sheets
Mr. & Mrs. Don Andrews
The club held monthly meetings in the present Lyons Club Building next to the railroad tracks in the town of Battle Ground. At that time, the club was very active in holding horse shows - at the Indiana State Soldier’s Home, the Tippecanoe County Home (presently Tippecanoe Villa), and on the old high school grounds and various members’ farms. It was said that after WWII, the Battle Ground Saddle Club was the largest saddle club in Indiana.
From the 1950's through the 1970's, there were four active saddle clubs in the Lafayette area - Lafayette Saddle Club, Western Riders, Boots & Saddle Club, Tippecanoe Saddle Club and, of course, the original Battle Ground Saddle Club. By the early 1960's, all of them had been abandoned, with the exception of the Battle Ground Saddle Club which disbanded in the late 1950's or early 1960's (due to a misunderstanding between a few members) but was revived soon thereafter.
After the breakup of the original Battle Ground Saddle Club, the present club was formed, consisting of the following members: Clyde & Hazel Martin, George & Daisy Dawkins, Mr. & Mrs. Art Saunders and Don and Dot Andrews.
The first few meetings were held at the Andrews’ home. Meetings were held to discuss ways and means to start a new club to promote the love and care of horses. At the second meeting, it was decided that Clyde Martin would conduct the meetings and act as president of the new organization. Daisy Dawkins was appointed as treasurer and Mrs. Saunders was to act as secretary. Since the club had no money, the four families each donated $15.00 per family for the treasury.
Clyde Martin recommended that club membership be restricted to residents of Tippecanoe Township. Shortly thereafter, that restriction was dropped and membership was opened to anyone that owned a horse or pony.
It was decided that a member had to be fifteen years old or older to be eligible to vote.
Upon the recommendation of Clyde Martin, all prospective members had to be presented by name only by a club member and the “one black ball” system was used to decide if you were approved as a member (one black ball and you’re out.) This method was in place for a few meetings and then it was defeated and dropped.
The club was incorporated on August 18, 1967 and new rules and regulations were adopted. During this period of time, the club became more organized and the membership began to grow.
The club continued to host horse shows at various locations until May of 1966 when the Edd Bloyd family agreed to let the club hold future club shows, trail rides and other functions on their property at the We Like It Ranch. The club helped with labor and finances to build a fenced-in show arena; installed lights for night riding, etc.; erected a two-story announcer stand and registration booth; built a 40' trailer for concessions; installed men and ladies outside toilets; and purchased an electric timer and speaker system.
In 1992 the Bloyd family decided to discontinue club functions on their property due to insurance problems, liability issues, etc. Because of the lack of a place to host shows, the club more or less migrated to trail riding, which presently continues to be the main focus of the club