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In January 2001 Ken Omelchuk unexpectedly passed away. Ken was a founding member of the Western Canadian Reining Association and had served for four years as its President. Ken was an accomplished Non Pro Reiner and along with wife Arlene and children Sarah, Charyl, and Jason, the Omelchuk's owned and operated the Three Hills Ranch in Kamloops, B.C. where they raised and trained their horses and honed their skills as reiners.
Ken above all else held the ethics and sportsmanship of the sport of reining to be of the highest caliber and would promote the sport and Western Canadian Reining Association at every opportunity. As do most Reiners, Ken could always be found at the entrance gate offering advice when sought and encouragement to everyone including the closest competitors. Ken’s passion far out paced the average competitor and as a Non Pro it was done from the heart and not the wallet.
From the tragedy of his passing and with the joint support of the Omelchuk family and WCRA has been born the Ken Omelchuk memorial trophy. A bronze statue commissioned in Ken’s Name showing the man at ease on his horse. This annual trophy bears a direct quote from Ken which plainly shows his Philosophy and understanding of the sport of reining and the people and horses that make this a great sport. This trophy is presented to the highest achieving Non Pro based on a cumulative score over the years High Point shows and is presented annually at the Annual General Meeting. It is particularly fitting that the first year the trophy was presented it went to Sarah Omelchuck riding Wickeys Peppy Leo a horse trained and shown by Ken himself.