By: Duane Blankenship | Category: In Our Communities | Issue: September 2008
Dinah Coop, past president and 2008-2009 director of the Oklahoma Buckskin Horse Association, with Douglas, her competition buckskin horse.
The Oklahoma Buckskin Horse Association (OBHA) is a non-profit organization founded in 1981. A portion of the funding supporting the organization and its activities is derived from area businesses. Because of this support, OBHA is able to keep entry fees to its horse shows very affordable for participants.
The primary purpose of the Oklahoma Buckskin Horse Association is to encourage interest in the buckskin, dun and grulla colored horses and the organization’s activities. According to Dinah Coop, past president and 2008-2009 director of OBHA, “You do not have to be a member of our organization to compete in our horse shows, but we do encourage membership so that you will be eligible for year-end awards and additional awards that are given at each show.”
OBHA provides an avenue for kids to gain confidence and patience, as well as learn about the many responsibilities associated with caring for, training, and working with a horse. “Our goal is to create a fun environment for families to show their horses and challenge themselves and their horses through competition,” says Coop. OBHA also offers a therapeutic walk trot class for participants with physical or mental challenges.
Sandy Schiebel, owner of Coyote Ridge Stables and Youth Camp, located south of Claremore, brings about a dozen kids with horses to each OBHA show. “Children learn so much through their involvement with horses,” says Schiebel.
Each OBHA horse show also offers nationally approved American Buckskin Registry Association (ABRA) classes for buckskin, dun and grulla horses, plus all-breed classes that are open to anyone with a horse, regardless of the horse’s type or breeding. The horses do not have to be registered with any horse breed organization.
Coop says that OBHA has held all its horse shows at the Claremore Expo Center. She acknowledged the organization’s appreciation to the Expo for continuously making improvements and keeping the facility family and horse friendly.
“OBHA has made a significant economic impact on Claremore,” says Coop. “On an average show day, we have approximately 100 participants and their families, many of whom shop in Claremore, eat at local restaurants and stay in area hotels.”
The top six participants in each class are presented ribbons at every show, and organization members can also earn additional points for high point and year-end awards. June and September shows are normally two-day circuit shows, during which additional awards are presented for accumulated points. Futurities are held during the September circuit and because of sponsor participation, money awards are increased for those classes.
A year-end OBHA banquet honors members in each of the seven participant divisions: open adult, open youth ages 5 to 9, open youth ages 10 to 13, open youth ages 14 to 18, ABRA open, ABRA amateur, and ABRA youth. At the ABRA level, all youths participate together.
The 2008 ABRA World Championship Show and Pre-World Classic were held in Tulsa in July. OBHA’s youth representative was Stephanie Hasper of Yukon, Oklahoma.
Ron Honeck of Inola is the current president of OBHA, and Dawn DeAmico of Claremore serves as vice president. The club draws membership from Oklahoma, Kansas and Arkansas. All shows are managed and conducted by volunteers, with the exception of the judges, announcer, and ring steward.
Please call Dinah Coop at (918) 232-0432 to find out more about the Oklahoma Buckskin Horse Association and related shows and dates. Information can also be found online at www.oklahomabuckskin.org.
Blankenship graduated from the University of Oklahoma and has enjoyed a lifetime career in advertising. He started his own advertising business in 1993 and enjoys creating graphic art and writing. Hobbies include hunting, fishing and pencil drawings. Duane and his wife, Janice, have been married over 50 years and are active in their church and community. He has been a contributing writer for Value News/Values Magazine since 2005.