By Jennifer Pauly
President, Niagara River Region Chamber of Commerce
The Niagara River Region Chamber of Commerce is pleased to announce Lakeside Quarter Horses as the 2018 Youngstown Business of the Year. The Youngstown Business and Professional Association assists the chamber in providing a business honoree. Lakeside Quarter Horses offers lessons to children through adults and offers activities that benefit the community.
Lakeside Quarter Horses was formed 20 years ago with one barn on the 40-plus acres of land off Lakeside Lane, just outside the Village of Youngstown. Owners Chris and Terri Diez first started their business by breeding horses, as Terri always had a love for them. The land was perfect for either apples or horses, and Chris jokes the horses won!
Breeding horses involves the marketing and trading of them. Over the years, they added an additional barn and grew their business by shifting from primarily breeding to offering lessons.
Lessons in English and Western styles, as well as showmanship and horsemanship, are taught year-round to all levels in the indoor 60-by-90-foot arena and outdoor 90-by-160-foot arena (weather permitting). There is also a 60-foot outdoor round pen in addition to the two barns.
Most of the horses are owned by Chris and Terri and are used for lessons and riding. The horses are well taken care of and loved by the students. Many of the students enjoy coming during the week after school and on weekends to help with the feeding and grooming of the horses. Some come right off the bus for the afterschool program twice a week. Students are also eligible to come for the all-day Saturday "Work-To-Ride" program at the barn.
Lakeside Quarter Horses participates in an average of two horse shows per month from May through September. It participates in local AQHA shows and is involved in the 4-H shows and programs, which provides students other opportunities to learn about health, science, agriculture and citizenship in a positive environment.
Every year on the Saturday before Halloween, Chris and Terri host a "Halloween Haunted Hayride" event that is open to the public. The day includes games, pony rides, face and pumpkin painting, haunted hayrides, a basket raffle and food for sale. All proceeds collected are raised for the Miracle League, an organization that helps promote the health and well-being of people with disabilities.
This organization provides opportunities for able-bodied people to learn about and interact with individuals with disabilities, and develop community awareness and support for the individual athlete with disabilities through organized sports leagues.
The Lakeside Halloween event has grown each year with approximately 500 people coming through to participate. Terri and Chris are always looking for volunteers to help, as the event is a success due to the generous donations, local support and kindness of the volunteers.
One can also find Lakeside Quarter Horses every year at the annual Youngstown Business and Professional Association's "Here Comes Summer" Street Dance held in June. Pony rides are offered to attendees for a small fee, which benefits the students' 4-H activities, with students and parents assisting in bringing the joy of riding to the community.
Lakeside Quarter Horses is a place where everyone is welcome. The kids love coming to the barn, as Chris and Terri have created a family-like atmosphere with a positive environment for the youth. They enjoy having their business in Youngstown, as the community is truly one that is focused on family and kids. Word of mouth and positive experiences is how most know of the stables locally.
For information on lessons, stop by Lakeside Quarter Horses at 420 Lakeside Lane in Youngstown, find them on Facebook, or call 716-523-2512.
The Niagara River Region Chamber of Commerce and the Youngstown Business and Professional Association proudly congratulate Lakeside Quarter Horses, the 2018 Youngstown Business of the Year.
Awards will be presented to those contributing to the success of the local area when the Niagara River Region Chamber of Commerce holds its annual awards gala on Thursday, April 19, at the Niagara Falls Country Club in Lewiston.
The event begins with a cocktail hour and hors d'oeuvres, followed by a sit-down dinner and awards program. A silent auction will take place throughout the evening.
Tickets and sponsorship opportunities are available through the chamber office by calling 716-754-9500.