Rolling Hills Riding Club

Horse riding as a means of transportation was the main way people commuted in the early stages of the United States. Traveling around especially with a family was difficult without the luxuries of vehicles such as cars, trains, and planes thus horses and carriages were used when people were heading out on a long journey. Today, we are fortunate enough to not have to rely on these beautiful animals to get us from place to place. Horses are mainly used on ranches or for competitive events now, and those who take an interest in horses and the activity of riding or racing horses can join clubs to indulge in these things with people who share the same love. In Amarillo, TX there is a riding club’s venue located just northeast of Bishop Hills called the Rolling Hills Riding Club.

The Rolling Hills Riding Club was started in 1961 by a man named Roy Beals who took a particular interest in horseback riding and activities of the sort. Beals wanted to form a network of people who shared this passion to have a club dedicated to it. On September 11, Beals called for a meeting to be held at his home to discuss the formation of the club. Bringing in guest speaker Mr. Wickers, a Will Rogers Range Rider, the group outlined the by-laws and ground rules that would apply to them as well as discussed future activities that would take place.

The meeting was adjourned and deemed a success as the formation of the club was to undergo development. Officers were subsequently elected and Pete Hudson served as the president. Beals was nominated the vice president and a man named Curly Lesley was the secretary and treasurer. Annual dues were set at $50.00 and the initiation fee each member had to pay was $25. Following the elections, the name Rolling Hills Riding Club was adopted and made official. Throughout development, most every meeting the club held was at a members residence to discuss relevant topics pertaining to the club.

The year after forming in 1961, seven acres of land were purchased and in 1963, the organization petitioned to borrow $30,000 to buy land north of the club and erect a clubhouse on the property. It had also gained the status of a non-profit organization which it had been working toward since establishment. Since forming, the property has undergone some updates and changes such as rebuilding both the pens and announcers booth. A metal roof was put atop the clubhouse in 2001 and in 2002 bathrooms were refurbished and more were built. The east side bleachers were also rebuilt during this time.

The club hosts an array of activities including hay rides, Halloween events, and haunted houses. They also hold team pennings which started in 1995 and still do so through leasing out or purchasing cattle. Some other events the club hosts include playdays, CASI (Chili Appreciation Society International) sanctioned chili cook offs, and a training course called extreme horse where students learn the skills it takes to properly operate atop a horse. The club also encourages anyone interested to become a member of the club.

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Map from Rolling Hills Riding Club to Panhandle Blasting & Restoration:

Map from Rolling Hills Riding Club to Amarillo Botanical Gardens: