Posted on August 23, 2021 at 4:47 PM by Emily Saveraid
Jay & Pat Meester brought their passion for family, hard-working country living and horses to Ringgold County a long time ago and Ringgold County is so glad they did. Not only did their passion for horses rub off onto their three daughters, but also onto all the horse project members they taught as 4-H Horse Superintendents. They volunteered in that role for 26 years (1993 – 2019).
Over the years, they touched so many lives. A former member said it best when she said, “I’ve always felt lucky to have had the opportunity to learn from Jay and Pat in so many ways! They were always exceptionally patient, giving and so dedicated. Their infectious smiles and humor were always sure to make it all fun too! They’ve no doubt made a lasting impact on so many, including myself, and for that I will be forever grateful! I am thankful to have often been treated as one of their own growing up!”
These two made a great team. All consider Pat to be the organizer keeping everyone on track, the mediator and the “make things happen” person. Jay was always thinking, did what needed to be done and was considered a horse-whisperer in his own way. Another 4-H alum stated, “They are always so helpful and willing to help new horse owners and riders. When I first started, I was so nervous, and my horse wasn’t the most well behaved and Jay & Pat both took the time to teach me and work with my horse. My parents and I were so appreciative of their hard work and willingness to help new horse project members. They definitely made a huge difference in my 4-H career.”
Both dedicated a lot of their time to the 4-H program, working with members regularly from May through county fair each year. Together their goal was to help ensure every 4-H member (and horse) that attended clinics was prepared for exhibiting at the county fair. They wanted to do what they could to make sure the fair experience was a positive one for the members. To ensure there was fun had, the Meesters would add extra activities after the horse show. A favorite of many was the dollar ride – horse members would try to keep a dollar bill under their leg while riding with the last one doing so winning the pot.
Unfortunately, Jay passed away in 2018, but Pat continued on as horse superintendent while she trained a new volunteer about the ropes of the trade. Now Pat gets to enjoy the county fair outside the show arena while wearing her grandma hat. She will always be a supporter of 4-H – she has green blood.