Years ago, there was an active community club in Happy Valley – located within Saddle Hills County – that hosted many events, such as fall suppers, Christmas banquets and weddings. Unfortunately, the hall became hazardous and the increasing age of the members led to the dispersal of the association.
In recent years, many young families have returned to Happy Valley and, in turn, a need for local activities. Monica Sellin, a relatively new member of the community, saw an opportunity to pull the community back together. It was originally her idea to create a facility where Happy Valley and extended community members could come together to participate in outdoor agriculture-based activities, and so the Happy Valley Ag and Recreation Club was formed.
We paid a visit to the president of the newly formed club, Connie Poss, and her horse Oakey, to discuss the club’s plans moving forward.
Q: Who are the founding members?
A: Monica Sellin, Nancy van Rootselaar, Chanley Jassman and myself are the four original board members. We’re now up to about 30 members.
Who can become a member?
Anyone is welcome to join.
What is the club’s purpose?
Our current focus is on horse-related activities. Our first project is to build a riding arena. However, our plan is to include more activities as we develop. We hope to see the community come together over riding activities and to keep expanding our scope.
When do you expect construction of the riding arena to be completed and where will it be located?
Currently we are awaiting approval of our provincial permits. As soon as the permitting process is complete, we will begin construction of the riding arena. We are hopeful that it will be operational this summer. The location for our future arena is the old Happy Valley Hall site west of Spirit River, which is at the intersection of Township Road 782 (Happy Valley Road) and Range Road 80.
What will the facility consist of?
The first project is the riding arena, but future projects include fencing, a playground, a group use area, campsites and potentially even a new hall at some point.
Do you have any upcoming events or activities planned?
Our first activity is planned for May 26, 2018, called Spring Bust Out Ride. It is a community trail ride that will function as a fundraiser and a membership drive, as well as letting the community know what our club is all about. The sign-up begins at 10am with riders leaving at noon. Afterward, we’re going to have a BBQ with a silent auction and door prizes. There will be a $25 fee for the ride, but that also includes their membership and supper. If people wish to join us for dinner without riding, they can purchase dinner for $10. The location for our ride is the same as our future arena.