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History of the Western New York Quarter Horse Club

The Western New York Quarter Horse Club, Inc. was formed in 1957 by Quarter Horse enthusiasts in the western portion of New York State for the purpose of promoting the breeding and showing of horses registered with the American Quarter Horse Association. The club was incorporated under the laws of the State of New York on the twenty-third of June, 1960. 

The idea for the club originated in 1957 with Win & Lois Tharnish of West Falls, New York and Eileen & Wayne Schneckenberger of Elma, New York, who thought it would fun to get together all of the Quarter Horse enthusiasts in the Western New York area to socialize and talk about their Quarter Horses. They started collecting names and initially sent out 23 postcards, inviting people to come, have coffee and talk. The initial meeting was at Eileen & Wayne Schneckenberger’s house. Ben DeYoung of Akron, New York was elected as the organization’s first President and Lois Tharnish was the first Secretary.

The initial Board of Directors consisted of the following:

Ben DeYoung – Akron, New York
Louis Schneckenberger – East Aurora, New York
Wayne Schneckenberger – Elma, New York
E. M. Timmons – Orchard Park, New York
Lois Tharnish – West Falls, New York
Josephine Wehust – Sheridan, New York
Robert Jackson – Ellicottville, New York
Robert Andrews – Delevan, New York
Douglas Mager – Little Valley, New York

At the time of the formation of the Western New York Quarter Horse Club, the American Quarter Horse Association itself was relatively young, having just been formed in Fort Worth, Texas in 1940.  The WNYQHC was the first Quarter Horse Club formed in New York, followed by the formation of the New York State Quarter Horse Association and then the Empire State Quarter Horse Association.

Over the years, the venerable club has been very successful in fulfilling its mission of promoting Quarter Horses. The Club extended itself with the formation of the WNYQHC Youth Club. The club has sponsored many meetings, parties and other get-togethers, as well as Quarter Horse shows, Open Horse Shows and Quarter Horse racing in the eight counties of Western New York -- Niagara, Orleans, Genesee, Erie, Wyoming, Chautauqua, Cattaraugus, and Allegany.