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Bath Fire Department Horse Show celebrating 70th year

6/26/2014 - West Side Leader
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By Sean Patrick

Bath Volunteers for Service’s Horse Show Committee members (not all members are shown) include, from left, Amy Bowers (co-chair), Mary Ann Heed, Shelley Bolton (Bath Fire Department executive secretary) and Marisela Fetzer (co-chair).
Photo courtesy of Marisela Fetzer
BATH — This year marks the 70th anniversary of the annual Bath Fire Department Horse Show.

The show will take place June 28-29 starting at 9 a.m. at the Bath Fire Department Horse Grounds, located at Revere and Everett roads across from Revere High School.

According to Marisela Fetzer, co-chair for the Bath Volunteers for Service’s Horse Show Committee, the annual event is a great way for families to spend some time together while also helping out the community.

“You have the local people who come because it’s a fun way to spend a Saturday or a Sunday,” she said. “You’re outside, there’s a tent, you get to see these people on their horses, there are concession stands and there is also a poster contest for the kids. We narrow it down to a few selections, and we display them at the horse show, and then they win prizes at the end of the day on Sunday.”

The main event, the horse show itself, will include trophies, prize money and ribbons, which will be awarded in all classes with the exception of equitation, showmanship and lead-in, where only trophy and ribbons will be awarded, according to show officials. The judge of this year’s horse show is Lynda Dunaway, from Indiana, with Michael Clifford, of Leavittsburg, serving as the jump judge. The show’s announcer will be Stow’s Terri Corley, and the ringmaster will be Akron resident Dan Long.

Most of the revenue raised through the horse show, Fetzer said, is accumulated through fundraising efforts in advance of the event.

“The Bath Volunteers for Service put out a letter noting that this is the Bath Fire Department’s only fundraiser and the money that we raise goes back into the community for new equipment and new training for the fire department,” she said. “So people in the community sponsor it. They can be horse show sponsors; they can be item sponsors or class sponsors — there are different levels they can donate.”

Approximately $35,000 is raised each year through the horse show, Fetzer said.

“From that money, they deduct the expenses to put on the horse show,” she said. “So it ends up being around $25,000 usually, and with that money, the fire department might do a joint project with the township to buy a new water tank or a new vehicle or something like that.”

Fetzer said a lot of people put in a lot of hard work to make the horse show a success each year.

“The firemen all work the horse show, and they work really hard,” she said. “It’s like three days of preparation followed by two days of the actual horse show, and it’s very physically intensive to do these horse shows. This show is a very, very involved process from the beginning, with the Bath Volunteers for Service doing the fundraising, to the end, with the Bath firemen and the volunteer firefighters putting on the show.”

As part of this year’s anniversary celebration, Fetzer said, the late Susie Wyatt will be honored for her contributions to the show.

“The horse show started with Susie Wyatt’s Bath Junior Riding Club,” Fetzer said. “This show started because kids who had been participating in horse show competitions in the area decided to have their own horse show here in Bath. Eventually, the fire department and the volunteer firefighters helped to put this show together, and it became what is now known as the Bath Fire Department Horse Show.”

Wyatt, who rode in nearly all of the previous Bath Fire Department Horse Shows, died last year on Nov. 10, a day after her 85th birthday.

“That definitely makes the timing of the anniversary even more special,” Fetzer said. “We wanted to honor her. Not only did she start the horse show, but she was also involved in a lot of different fundraising in the community.”

General admission tickets are $5, senior tickets are $3 and children younger than 5 will be admitted free of charge. Family passes are available for $15.

For more information about the horse show, call the Bath Fire Department at 330-666-3738 or visit www.bathtownship.org. For additional information regarding the Bath Volunteers for Service, visit www.bathvolunteersforservice.org.

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