A Packed Schedule
by Teri Starke
It’s hard to believe 2017 is here! We are knee deep in the planning and organizing of Back Country Horsemen of Washington’s Rendezvous 2017 at Kittitas Valley Event Center in Ellensburg. This year is special as it is BCHW’s 40th anniversary. Come celebrate with us!
BCHW has chapters and members across Washington State. Rendezvous is an opportunity for members to visit with old friends and make new ones. Come on over, make new friends, and learn of places to ride across this great state.
Rendezvous happens March 17-19 and the schedule is up on the BCHW website, www.bchw.org. This is not the final schedule as we are updating and moving around demos as we fill up all of the rooms and buildings. At the rate we are going, the weekend will be jam-packed with everything horse and mule!
We have a number of trainers in the Bloom Pavilion showcasing their areas of expertise all day Friday and Saturday. Dani Gamble will talk to you about the difference between mules and horses. Tyler Gordon will talk about those pesky trail obstacles and what you and your horse need to know on the trails. Bill Holmes will talk about both horses and mules in two separate segments both Friday and Saturday. We will also have a trailering clinic in the Bloom Pavilion. We would like to add a couple more horse and/or mule trainers in the Bloom — let me know if anyone is interested.
The other side of the Bloom will be the packing contest hosted by Okanogan Valley Chapter and other packing and safety demos by Ed Haefliger.
There will be a crosscut saw competition again this year by the gazebo. I even heard of a couple crosscut training opportunities; more to come on that later.
In the Teanaway Room, Robert “Trailmeister” Eversole and Andy Breland from Trailhead Supply will give several talks Friday through Sunday. The highlight will be at 12:30 on Saturday when they will have a talk together; it will be entertaining, whatever they decide to talk about. I will make sure I am somewhere near the Teanaway for an hour or two!
Of course, we will have the very popular HUGE used tack sale again. Bring your gently used tack to sell (membership not required) and come prepared to find some great buys. They are taking over the entire Naneum and Taneum Rooms this year.
The BCHW store and antique BCHW shirt display will be in the Manastash Room. Stop in and buy a 2017 Rendezvous commemorative shirt to proudly display your support of BCHW.
Chapter displays will be in the Manastash Room and the member photo contest will be in Heritage Room. The “ride our part of the state” chapter displays will be scattered around the Teanaway Room with other auction items. Maybe you can find a new area in this great state to ride.
Our wonderful vendors will be in the Umtanum, Manastash and Heritage Rooms; this year we’re bringing more vendors to Rendezvous. Please visit and support them.
There will be a Dutch oven cook-off on Friday afternoon, sponsored by the Oakland Bay chapter.
Reservation forms are also on the website, get yours in as soon as possible — both for early bird prices and because we are limiting the Saturday catered dinner to 350 people, and those spots fill up quickly. Commemorative 40th anniversary shirt preorder forms are also with the dinner/auction reservations forms on BCHW’s website. Preorder your shirt to make sure we have one for you when you arrive at Rendezvous!
There are a lot of camping spots at the Kittitas Valley Event Center, both dry or with electricity. Reserve your spot (on the dinner reservation form) and take advantage of early bird rates. If you will be staying at a hotel book a room now as the Ellensburg area hotels do fill up the weekend of Rendezvous.
Finally, on Sunday, we will have our annual general meeting and awards ceremony in the Teanaway Room. This is our chance to recognize some of our special volunteer members for their great work with BCHW and for keeping public lands open.
Remember to check out www.bchw.org for the updated schedule. We will also have some printed for you at Rendezvous. This is an event that all horse/mule owners in Washington State should attend. We look forward to seeing you in Ellensburg!
Back Country Horsemen of Washington (BCHW), is a 501 (c) (3) organization with 32 chapters across the state dedicated to: keeping trails open for all users; educating horse users in Leave-No-Trace practices; and providing volunteer service to resource agencies.