The Western Saddle Clubs Association, Inc., was officially organized in 1955. Four years earlier the Minnesota State Fair horse show had included Games and Drills & Square Dance competition for the first time. Saddle Clubs enthusiastically supported the new program. Fair management, astonished by the response, began working with Saddle Clubs to present only the best-qualified riders. At the same time, the Saddle Clubs recognized a need for uniform rules at open shows in the Upper Midwest. The mission statement of the new organization was to promote "the western-type horse" as well as to fulfill the needs mentioned above.
From an original roll call of twenty-one clubs, the delegate controlled WSCA has grown to include more than 230 clubs with over 12,000 individual memberships. From the first meeting, WSCA promoted trail riding. Support for 4-H and other youth programs has been a constant part of the organization. In 1977, a scholarship program was added. Affordability and family involvement was in the forefront in 1955; those ideals remain intact today.
The first rulebook was published in 1958 under the direction of the Rules and Regulations Committee. Now, as then, the rules, along with the goals and direction of the organization, are determined by the general delegation.
In 1959, the Championship Horse Show was born. From fourteen classes on a Sunday afternoon in an outdoor arena, the show has grown to seventy-two classes in four and a half days at the Coliseum. Entries in 2006 numbered more than 4,000.
WSCA Rule Books are available at all WSCA General Meetings, MN Horse Expo, and from Cindy Ladd, Rulebook Committee Chairperson. Cost is $6.