A FUNDRAISER silent auction at the Pinto association banquet featured a wide range of momentos, including two beautiful pieces of art - of course - Pinto horses.

Big Lake rider, horse honored at Pinto Convention

Gary W. Meyer
Their love of horses brought them together again - as members  observed the 2013 awards banquet of their Minnesota Pinto Horse Association in Monticello on a recent  Saturday evening.
   The horses stayed home, munching on hay and grain, wishing for their next trip out of the stable.
But this night was for their owners, riders and trainers, as awards were handed out to participants in one of the largest horse associations around.
The Minnesota Pinto Horse Association has been in existence for 48 years and boasts 300 members from across Minnesota and the Midwest. Approximately 75% of their membership, however, comes from the precincts north and west of the Twin Cities.
Their competitions are among the largest and best, they feel.
The Pinto association hosts four large competitions each year, two at the Minnesota Equestrian Center in Winona May 24-26 and Aug. 8-10 and two at Red Horse Ranch Arena in Fergus Falls, July 11-13 and Sept. 5-7.
   They are three-day events for the horses, usual for their length, because the Pintos are judged on their versability - in English riding, Western and “pattern work,” says Renae Ross.
   An estimated 120 to 130 horses are entered into each of these four competitions.
Awards presentations kept the Pinto people busy until 11 p.m. 
   Most significant awards were given to Peter Faust, Maple Plain, MN and a deceased horse from Nebraska, which had showed many times during his career in Minnesota.
   Faust, owner and operator of Frost Training stable in Maple Plain, was nominated a preferred horseman and inducted into their National Hall of Fame.
He has spent his life coaching exhibitors in all seats, showing all types of Pintos. He is also a regular sponsor of local Pinto charter year-end awards and special needs equine organizations. 
   He supports an average of 20 exhibitors into one of the largest PtHA charters in the nation.
The horse from Nebraska, now deceased for two years, Sir Issac Newton, had a distinguished career in show.
Spotz Royal Blue, the eight-year old Pinto Saddlebred and owned by Renae Ross of Big Lake Twp., was awarded  the top point-getter recognitions at the convention.
   During the 2013 competiton season, Blue won open high point saddle type horse, six class high points in Minnesota and five national horse of the year class winnings.
   He also won the coveted RO Tysnder award.
   Renae and Terry Ross stable Blue on their farm off Co. Rd. 15, just north of the Elk River.
   In their stable are two 20-year old horses, one retired, one ridden by Terry on trail rides, and a 2 1/2 year old, yet to get into training.
Renae has been riding since she was five years old, due to her mother’s love of horses - and she has been competing since 1999. Terry enjoys trail riding in the Sand Dunes trail system and is the chief groomer at competitions.
Young Kira Stetler, the 15-year old Plymouth lady, was also recognized for her horsemanship during the past year.
   She comes by her vocation for good reason - her parents Cris and Jim own and operate French Lake Equestrian LLC, a training and boarding facility for several dozen horses.


MEMBERS OF THE BIG LAKE HIGH SCHOOL CHAMBER CHOIR performed for the school board at the beginning of their last meeting. The Chamber Choir members are selected for their skills from among their peers. They were directed by Mary Ebanks. (Photo by Jennifer Edwards).

DARLENE LANZ grew up just east of town and has lived in or around Big Lake all her life. She recalls what Christmas was like in Big Lake back then. (Photo by Jennifer Edwards).

SHERBURNE COUNTY ATTORNEY Kathleen Heaney, taking over as MCAA President. (Submitted photo.)

Cheryl Turck and Corey Mabis of the Sherburne County Probation Dept. (Photo by Ken Francis.)

SANTA AND HIS HELPERS prepared to give out toys to 111 families at the Food Shelf Monday. The toys were all donated by one local merchant. (Photo by Ken Francis.)