By ISABELLA SIMMONDS
For the Republic-Times
The Prairie du Rocher Saddle Club celebrated its 60th anniversary with a special ride on June 11.
To recognize the milestone, many of the club’s members set out to take an old-fashioned trail ride.
“There were four horse-drawn vehicles and 24 people riding on horseback,” Prairie du Rocher Saddle Club President David Lehr said.
With a police escort, the group traveled from the American Legion in Prairie du Rocher north on the historic Kaskaskia-Cahokia Trail to the home of other club members off Kaskaskia Road in St. Joe.
“It was a good drive and a good ride,” said Lehr, who pulled a rubber tire wagon with his team of mules. “I enjoy driving and I enjoy riding. The experience with the group was well put together by the different people that have helped and participated. It was a great turnout.”
Lehr was more than happy to talk about some of the history within the club’s 60 years of existence.
“The club originally started in Prairie du Rocher,” he said.
These days, the club travels to many different areas to partake in trail riding.
Lehr also explained that club members Nate and Stephanie Keller were a huge part of organizing the anniversary ride. Stephanie is the club’s secretary and treasurer.
The club enjoys most of its regular trail rides at several different areas including Johnson’s Creek at Lake Kincaid, Greensfelder Park in Eureka, Mo., and an equestrian trail in Randolph County.
“We usually do our rides on Sundays,” Lehr explained. “We are always open for members, and we have lots of events that we do.”
The club hosts several yearly events including a gun raffle and dance. Most events are listed on the club’s website, pdrsaddleclub.com.
Lehr explained the club doesn’t sell an abundance of their raffle tickets, so the likelihood of winning is increased.
Although horseback riding and events are a huge part of the organization, the saddle club has other responsibilities around the community.
“We help at the Monroe County Fairgrounds to clean it up prior to the fair,” Lehr said.
This year at the fairgrounds, the club plans to sponsor and give away a buckle for the high point winner during the junior horse show at the fair. They had planned to do this for many years now, but the COVID-19 pandemic had postponed past opportunities.
The Prairie Du Rocher Saddle Club meets on the second Tuesday of every month starting at 7:30 p.m. The meetings are held at Acorns Golf Links, and anyone is welcome to join.
The club will host a barbecue in the Waterloo Rural King parking lot on July 16 starting at 11 a.m.