The New York State Horse Council was started around 1969 to be the voice of the pleasure horse people in this State. The original author of this history, Robert Geitter, was a member of the NYS Horse Council, but had no local equestrians to consult with. Around 1986 there were problems in Hunter's Creek Park, so Mr. Geitter called for a meeting at Our Lady of Victory to discuss the situation. Only a few people turned out, but it was decided to try again. Dale Larson, then Senator Sheffler's administrative assistant, was our guest speaker. Even then we talked about the Inherent Risk Bill.
No meetings were held again until about 1992 when Mr. Geitter placed an advertisement in the Buffalo Evening News seeking horse people interested in forming an organization. A dozen individuals met at my house to discuss goals for equestrians in Western New York. This core group of horse people formed the Western Chapter of the New York State Horse Council.
Hence, the Chapter is an umbrella group which comprises about 500 members included in its over 20 clubs, stables, and individual memberships. Our primary goal as a 501(c)-3 not-for-profit charitable organization is to educate. We seek to educate the public, horse people themselves, and our local legislators. Through our mailing list, we keep equestrians informed about legislative bills coming up for a vote in NYS Legislature and tell how such bills will impact on the equine industry. We also suggest ways that members can influence the passage of a desired bill or accomplish other goals.
One of the most important jobs of the Western Chapter is to maintain relationships with local legislators of our chapter area. We ask for their help and get their advice in order to unify our voices at the state and local levels. Since the Western Chapter is also affiliated with the Farm Bureau, we work together whenever possible to solve mutual problems. Upon achieving common goals, we have become a more viable and visible entity in Western New York and have become a more respected as an organization.