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Palmyra — Southern Kettle Moraine Horse Trail Association celebrated another successful year with their annual Holiday Gala dinner for members at Ivan’s on the Square in East Troy in November and the popular December Chili Dump and Poker Ride hosted by Dan and Barb Riva of Winterhorse Park Icelandic Farm in Eagle.

During the Holiday Gala dinner SKMHTA President Kim Jaye gave special recognition to several special members in honor of their efforts this year with the group. Kenneth “Hammer” Shramek, trail coordinator; Chad Reichenberger, new member; Gary Press, longtime member and contributor; Bailey LeRoy, junior member; and Tara LeRoy, treasurer and PR, all received appreciation awards for their contributions for the group in 2016.

At the Chili Dump and Poker Ride at Winterhorse Park Icelandic Farm, SKMHTA members enjoyed a warm welcome from farm hosts Dan and Barb Riva, mixed with a leisurely afternoon of riding, a buffet of great food and prizes.

Upcoming events include SKMHTA’s annual meeting held at DNR Headquarters in Eagle at 10 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 28. Year-end recap, membership renewals, trail hankie and shirt sales and elections will take place. Nominees are being sought for the new officer elections. Any members with current membership are eligible nominees, and all terms are two-year volunteer positions. The following positions need to be filled to enable the group to continue its trail efforts in 2017.

Vice President: Conducts duties of the president in president’s absence

Secretary: Maintains records of the Association and prepare minutes of all meetings. Distribute meeting minutes to membership, webmaster, Facebook coordinator

Trail Coordinator: Works with other trail coordinator to arrange trail clean-ups and oversees all club projects, communicates with DNR personnel, takes care of any issues related to the trails that are the club’s responsibility, such as the obstacle course and mounting blocks

Member-at-Large: Serves as member of the board, is contact person with other horse groups, clubs, associations; handle matters associated with these groups; perform duties as may be requested by board or membership

The annual meeting is open to all members, as well as, anyone interested in learning more about the group. Any members joining or renewing membership prior to Jan. 15, 2017, will be entered in a prize drawing, which will be held at the annual meeting. Prizes will include meal certificates donated by Suhmer’s Saloon in Eagle, including a prime rib dinner, two Friday fish fry dinners and two breakfast meals. Additional prizes will also be awarded at the annual meeting.

Annual membership dues for 2017 are $25 per family (includes all members of same household)and are renewable in January of each year. Benefits of being a member include copies of quarterly newsletter, access to free clinics and seminars; group activities such as fun rides and camp-outs; and a voice to the future maintenance and improvements made in the Southern Kettle Moraine horse trails and campground.

Membership benefits now also include exclusive “SKMHTA Member Only” benefits offered by participating sponsors. Wings-N-Things of Palmyra will be once again offering their popular discount cards available exclusively to SKMHTA members. Another major area sponsor will be announced at the January meeting offering additional member benefits! There has never been a better time to join and enrolling is easy.

Visit www.skmhta.com to enroll online or print and mail copy of membership form. Membership fees and funds raised go towards projects to improve and maintain equestrian campgrounds and horse trails in the Southern Kettle Moraine trail system for the benefit of all users.

SKMHTA offers a variety of equestrian activities in a social setting with support for horse trails and campgrounds in the Southern Kettle Moraine State Forest. SKMHTA is always seeking suggestions for new projects, donations, and volunteers. For more information or to learn how to become a member or sponsor, please visit www.skmhta.com, find us on www.facebook.com or contact Kim Jaye – SKMHTA President, via phone 262-560-9590 or email at SKMHTAnews@gmail.com

SKMHTA had previously installed electricity at 29 campsites and the pavilion in Horseriders Campground in Palmyra; upgraded trail maps with color coding and signage; and installed hitching rails and 12 more mounting blocks at various points on the horse trails. The group developed a rest stop at Wilton Road in Eagle, complete with tie rails, picnic tables, porta-potty and water and installed corrals for the Palmyra Corral Project in town.

This year the group purchased, installed and maintains a portable toilet on the Viele Loop trail in Palmyra trails; conducted monthly trail cleanups, including maintenance on the obstacle course trail that was designed and constructed by SKMHTA at Hwy S trailhead in Eagle; installed hitching posts on the Highway 12 trailhead; and worked with WI Department of Natural Resources (Southern Unit) to coordinate purchase and placement of four concrete manure collection bins at Horseriders Campground to replace badly deteriorated wooden bins.

Additional projects being researched and coordinated with the DNR for future implementation include developing a new trailhead on to provide additional access to the trails west of Horseriders Campground. For more information, visit www.skmhta.com or email SKMHTAnews@gmail.com to find out how you can contribute.

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