By Patti (Ransom) Waitman-Ingebretsen
*The Hunt Club was located on or near the Frank Estate off SW Oleson Rd in the Garden Home area. Being too young to drive, this writer has no details about location, transportation etc.
Teen aged girls love horses and we young girls of Maplewood were no different. It was in the mid to late 1950’s and a parent would drive us to the Hunt Club where we would meet a crusty old fellow with heavy Scottish accent. His name might have been Bill. As I was often tallest of the girls, I was always assigned to “Airway” as he was a big horse. We rode English style around and around in a large indoor riding arena. Bill would shout out instructions as we circled the ring putting our horses through their paces. On one occasion, I decided to switch my little stick/crop from my right to left hand and immediately got stick and reins tangled. Airway took off and we raced around the arena, occasionally leaping over little fences not for our level of riding skill. As I rounded the gallery area, my father shouted instructions which I could not understand. Airway and I were making good time as we raced around the arena and by now everyone was shouting instructions. Finally, Bill shouted, “just drop everything” which I did and Airway and I stopped our wild race and all was calm. What I had failed to realize as I was tangled in reins and stick was that the other end of the stick was in poor Airway’s ear! Bill was grumpy as I thanked him for his good advice. I later began to feel quite smug as I regaled others with the story of my racing and horse jumping experience atop Airway. Someone else quickly pointed out that I was darn lucky not to have been thrown.
You can read more about the Hunt Club in the article by Sharon Wilcox or in the story by the Dignan family.
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