The Kentucky Hunter Jumper Association was founded as a non-profit 501(c) 3 in 1965 by a few dedicated horsemen and women, including Ned and Nina Bonnie, Julian Heron, Charles Lovell, Mary Rena Murphy and Ms. T.O. Campbell. Mr. Robert Murphy served as the first President of the organization. In the early 1980's while Mr. Tom Oldaker was President of KHJA, he presented the idea of establishing an "A" rated Horse Show to raise some funds for the organization. Nobody serving on the Board at that time wanted Mr. Oldaker to do this; they said he was crazy and that the idea would be too much work and would never make any money.

Needless to say, Tom did not have alot of backing for this bold venture! However, Mr. Oldaker pursued the idea and the very first KHJA Horse Show was held in 1981 at the Kentucky Horse Park in what is presently known as the Dressage Ring. The Horse Show was entirely run by Mr. Oldaker who did everything from managing the office staff to dragging the arena long after the sun had set! Tom's wife was responsible for ordering ribbons and trophies for each class. She recalls, "All the trophies were silver back then and they were engraved with the class name and year. We gave silver plates, bowls and horse heads, you name it. We gave nice trophies because we wanted it to be a really special horse show".

Mrs. Oldaker also did all the "running" at the horse show taking the results from the judge to the announcer and then to the office. That first year, the show was very successful and cleared around $10,000. Today, the KHJA Horse Show is a prominent fixture on the "A" circuit drawing over 1,000 entries to the Horse Park each August with horses and riders competing in five and sometimes six rings simultaneously over the period of four days! In the Horse Show's 25th year, a profit of $70,000 was made, documenting the continued success of a project that today, is still the main fundraiser for the organization.

KHJA Bylaws

 

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