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FAHA Opens 2018 Season with Youth Rodeo

04/09/2018 3:21 PM | Tina Zanotto (Administrator)

Youth Rodeo participant races out of the final barrel at Crooked Creek Horse Park.  Photo Credit: Pictures by The Reinman.

April 9, 2018 , Manor Township, Armstrong Country PA.

Fort Armstrong Horsemen’s Association, FAHA, opened their first event of the season on April 7th and 8th,  by hosting Western PA Youth Rodeo Association, WPYRA, for one of their six scheduled events this year at Crooked Creek Horse Park.  The newly elected Board of Directors of FAHA and numerous volunteers have been prepping the park and equipment since February.  Ron Bowser, a member since the inception of FAHA in the early 80’s, is one volunteer that has been helping get the grounds and facilities ready.

“The weather has been a challenge.  The late snow and cold have prevented us from doing some standard spring cleaning to last minute.  But we have also repaired sections of the barns and stalls as well as some electric.”  Said Bowser, “we have been running this park since we first established it as an equine facility in 1986 and we have always tried to not let anyone down."

WPYRA has been using the park for some of their events for the last few years and was happy to return for another year.   WPYRA promotes youth involvement in America’s oldest sport, Rodeo.  Founded as a charitable and educational organization, they conduct events and clinics for youth from preschool to 19 years of age.  The types of events include goat tying, barrel racing and even bull riding.  It is Rodeo related they do it.

The organization isn’t just about Rodeo, they focus on teaching community and working together.  Participants must attend mandatory meetings prior to events starting.  The organization also hosts a cowboy church for participants on Sunday morning.  This past Sunday Ray Urksa, led the service using a lariat as a center piece for compelling message about how the community can bind together.

Ray Urksa leading Cowboy Church on Sunday April 8th, 2018 at Crooked Creek Horse Park. Photo credit Laura Wilson.

FAHA is excited about the new season and the return of WPYRA. “We are developing a great partnership with {WPYRA}” said Laura Wilson, current President of FAHA. “I have been here this weekend and they are great people to work with and the kids are polite.  We wished we could have ordered them better weather, but they are tough kids, so cold and mud doesn’t seem to phase them anyways.”

The two organizations met in early 2018 to discuss plans for the year and determined that the chutes FAHA previously purchased had been sold. A used set was bought in March by FAHA for $5500.   Amie Ealy, FAHA Director, delivered the bucking chutes to the park after a road trip to Buckin B Cattle Co.  “It was great team work and I learned a good bit about bucking chutes really quick.  These ones  just need a good coat of paint and they will look great.  The important thing is that they are safe for the kids.”


A Youth Rodeo participant is one of the first to use the newly acquired bucking chutes. Photo Credit: Pictures by The Reinman. 

This year the concession is being run by Lil Jackie’s Concessions. “I came to the park Saturday morning to help and the smell from the kitchen was irresistible.  The pancakes were so big they barely fit on the plate and were amazing.  The kids were loving the cheese fries, walking tacos, and burgers.  Everyone really needs to leave room for multiple trips to the concession stand this year, you won’t be disappointed.” Said Tina Zanotto, Treasurer of FAHA. 

 “We have a really full schedule, but the entire board is working hard to make a great season for FAHA members and show producers. These are both great organizations for the local community to get behind and we hope people come out to watch and support them.” Said Vice President of FAHA, Christine Blystone.

Fort Armstrong Horsemen’s Association is a 501(c)4 non-profit and its related Fort Armstrong Horsemen’s Association Foundation is a 501(c)3 non-profit focused establishing, promoting, and ensuring horse-related activities which increases tourism in the local community.  You can find out more information about Fort Armstrong Horsemen’s Association at www.crookedcreekhorsepark.com

The WPYRA, a non-profit 501(c)3 organization, promotes youth involvement in Rodeo, one of America’s oldest sports. Founded as a charitable and educational organization, the WPYRA conducts youth rodeo events and clinics for any interested youth from preschool to 19 years old. 
In addition, a Scholarship Fund has been established to encourage and assist members in continuing their education beyond high school. You can find more information at
www.wpyra.net



Fort Armstrong Horsemen's Association is a 501(c)4 non-profit organization. 

Fort Armstrong Horsemen's Association Foundation is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, 

467 Crooked Creek Dam Road, Ford City, PA 16226

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