ABOUT OUR CHAPTER
Please contact Cheri Bellmore or Gale Sheppard for ride and meeting schedules.
Grant County is home to the John Day Fossil Beds, Strawberry Mountain Wilderness, North Fork of the John Day Wilderness, and Black Canyon Wilderness Areas as well as the beautiful Malheur National Forest and expanses of BLM lands. Adjacent are the Desolation, Bridge Creek and Monument Rock Wilderness Areas. Our topography affords unlimited riding opportunities through painted hills, pine and fir forests, craggy mountains, alpine meadows, rolling grasslands, and even high desert sagebrush. With all this beautiful, open country in which to ride, it was inevitable a riding group would form.
The Grant County chapter was originally the Grant County Wilderness Riders, a riding club begun in August of 2009. Two women decided to put an ad in the paper inviting people who wanted to meet others interested in trail riding, to attend a meeting at a local park. About 25 people showed up, signed up, met again to elect officers, make ride dates, and the GCWR was born. We established an activity calendar, a budget, collected dues, and had monthly meetings. We got together for rides several times each month. In February, one of our members put on a packing clinic at the fairgrounds, our first money-making event. As our enthusiasm grew, so did our ambitions. We wanted to host more horse-related events open to the public. We soon realized insurance was a necessity and the cost was far greater than our budget. We began discussing the possibility of becoming an OET or BCHO chapter. Our club’s mission seemed to mesh nicely with that of both groups. OET and BCHO sent representatives to speak with our club regarding their philosophies and what membership in their organizations would entail. After much debate, we voted to become a chapter of OET.
On September 18, 2010, we were officially accepted as the newest chapter of OET. President Rose Mahoney and Kim McCarrel (\TP Marketing) attended our October meeting to welcome us to the organization.
Our chapter has been very active in 2010. We had several “campout” events in addition to several rides each month. In the spring, we contacted the Forest Service about wanting to volunteer to do trail maintenance and improve the limited horse facilities in our area. They were receptive to our offer, and our first work party was the cleanup of a heavily used area, on Earth Day. Next we cleared brush from trail and roadsides for two days at the Sunrise Butte trailhead, followed by a campout and barbeque. We saved the Billy Fields horse camp from being decommissioned by having a productive dialogue with the Forest Service, and improvements are now planned. We tackled a long-term and difficult project at West Pine Creek, revitalizing a section of abandoned trail and rerouting a potentially hazardous creek crossing, over two different weekends. The Forest Service has promised to bring in fire rings and tables still in good shape, for use at nearby Pine Creek Horse Camp. We are hoping to erect stalls there, in the near future. Next summer, at West Pine Creek, we have plans to relocate the trailhead, create switchbacks on the steepest sections of trail, plan a crossing for a sensitive area, and complete the last mile+ of trail. It then joins with another, Canyon Mountain Trail, becoming a major access route into the heart of the Strawberry Mountain Wilderness Area. Our small, but strong chapter is forging ahead with ambitious plans and lots of enthusiasm for the coming years.
- Trail Boss: John Engelhardt
- Historian: Judy Masters
- Chapter Chair: Cheri Bellmore
- Vice Chair: Katee Hoffman
- Field Services:
- Secretary: Gale Sheppard
- Treasurer: Gale Sheppard
Chapter Publications & Forms
- Volunteer Field Services, Release and Safety Session Forms
- Chapter Calendar
Photos of Our Activities[Gallery not found]