Organized in 1984 as the Ellis County Horse Committee, the ECHC’s original purpose was to distribute information about breeding, nutrition and the training of horses. To this end, the ECHC worked closely with the County Extension Service. In 1987 the ECHC was reorganized, instituted a set of bylaws and became the Ellis County Equine Association (ECEA). While the purpose of the ECEA is still to educate horse enthusiasts about breeding, nutrition and proper training, it has also developed an extensive Open Show series, sponsored clinics dealing with such topics as barrel racing, veterinary first aid, training the pleasure horse, etc. The ECEA has also established a Youth Program (ECEYA), as well as numerous other activities.
The ECEA sponsors and promotes shows for all breeds of horses. Records have been maintained on all competing horses owned by its members since the ECEA’s Open Show series inception. Through a system of annual and permanent records, the ECEA recognizes horses of outstanding halter and performance ability.
Beginning in 1989 the ECEA held its first annual stallion service auction. Stallion owners donated the services of ten horses. Ninety percent of the money raised in the auction was put into escrow for a weanling futurity to be held in the fall of 1991. Foals resulting from the ten services were paid up in the futurity and competed for the escrow funds. The first weanling futurity saw over $1,000 paid out, with the winning foal’s owner and the owner of the winning foal’s sire receiving matching silver and gold trophy buckles. The last auction was held in 1993 and the last stallion service futurity was held in October 1994.
Youth participation is encouraged and enhanced by the Ellis County Equine Youth Association. They sponsor a show, have various fund raisers, hold fun events, present annual awards and go on field trips.
A Membership, Breeders and Services Directory, listing all current members is published annually. Monthly there is published the ECEA Hoof Prints. Both publications are distributed to members, advertisers, Extension agents, local libraries and local school Ag departments, Hoof Prints gives show results, point standings, and current news relevant to all breeds.
ECEA holds an Open horse show series of 5 shows each year. There are daily high point prizes in several age categories. There is a year end awards banquet where people earn buckles and various other prizes from points earned over the course of the 5 shows.
ECEA members participate in several parades each year and try to have one or two clinics for club members.
The ECEA has been a leader in the promotion of the horse and in good horsemanship, and will strive to continue this tradition in the future.
In 1997 the Board of Directors implemented the Nancy Jessup Memorial Scholarship Fund. This scholarship is awarded to applicants who must be current members of the club. It is funded by a small fee attached to every horse attending a show sponsored by the club. The first scholarship was awarded in 1998. The Board ensured the future of the award by setting up a special account separate from the general revenue in 2000.
Past Presidents Charter - Frank Green 1986 - Kathy Spillar 1987, 1988 - Carol Blaha 1989 - Randy McMullan 1990 - Jim Swinney 1991 - Cheryl Martin-Wixtrom 1992, 1993 - Lois Smith 1994, 1995, 1996 - Nancy Jessup 1997 - Leon Warner 1998, 1999 - Michael (Spanky) Casey 2000 - David R. Smith III 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004 - David "Red" Jackson 2004, 2005 - Jake Escamilla 2006 - Julie Hinz 2007 - Sandy Neal 2008- Becky Hansen 2009, 2010 - Julie Hinz 2011, 2012 - Jimmy Ballew 2013, 2014 - Jody Clemons 2015 - Julie Hinz 2016, 2017 - Amy Newsom 2018, 2019 - Stacie Sipes