October 2018 (Note: these board members will continue to serve for the 2019-2020 ride year.)
Meet our Club Officers:
Valerie Tanner, President
- 12920 East Hwy 316
- Ft. McCoy, FL
Valerie lives in Ft. McCoy with her husband, Rick, 2 dogs and 6 horses. She works full time as a Nurse Practitioner at Centra Care Urgent Care. She moved to Florida 11 years ago from Missouri where she had had horses for about 30 years. She built a log home in the country, got a horse and she was hooked!
Her love is traveling around the country with her horse and riding in new places.
Ellen Bolton, Vice President
14524 County Road 561 A
Minneola, FL 34715
Ellen lives in Clermont with her husband, Larry, 2 dogs and 2 horses and a cat. She is a life-long horse lover. Her recent addition to her horse family is Lily, a mini-horse which she enjoys driving with her Grandchildren, teaching them the fun and love of horses. Ellen has been a member of Florida Trail Blazers for a decade and has served as secretary during that time.
Lisa Surphlis, Treasurer
- PO Box 2432
Deland, FL 32721
- 386-804-6494 Cell
- 407-224-3314 Work
Lisa has ridden with the Club for many years and has recently joined as a board member. She has also taken on the role of Treasurer. Thank you to Lisa for her participation!
Tracy McCommon, Secretary
- P.O. Box 560277
- Orlando, FL 32856
Tracy has been married to her husband Dennis for over 20 years and they have two young sons Corey and Benjamin. Together they own 2 horses. Tracy is also on the board of directors for the Orange County 4-H Horse Club in which her 2 sons are active members. Her son Corey is a competitive rider in 4-H Horse Shows and has won many ribbons. Benjamin will be riding in 4-H shows for the first time this year. Tracy also competes in the OPEN 4-H Shows and in other small local shows with her boys.
My name is Julie Cesary and I started riding at a very young age. I grew up in a mid-west farming area and got my first horse at 5 years old. I was your typical horse crazy little girl and have never grown out of it. I was in 4-H in high school, then later showed western at local shows. I enjoy the outdoors, so discovered equine camping is the perfect fit. My husband, Richard, is not a rider but supports my hobby. He enjoys coming along and hanging out at the campsite.
- 352-613- 9888
My name is Trudee Mason and I was practically born in the saddle! Raised on a farm in northern Indiana, I have fond memories of riding and camping with my family from a very early age. My love and passion for horses has followed me into adulthood where I continue to ride and camp all over Florida. I also enjoy the challenge and adventure of traveling with our horses to other states, where we can experience different scenery and terrain. My husband and stepdaughter also ride and have shared my “horsey” enthusiasm since we became a family 5 years ago. We love the fellowship and comradery of our horsey friends, sitting around the campfire and sharing stories, eating s’mores and blazing the trails!
I am Chris and I live in DeLeon Springs with my husband, Jerry, two Corgis: Lillee and Theena, and two horses: Hardley and Teagan.
Jerry is a good sport, traveling and camping with me and enjoys being with all my friends. Plus- it’s good to have him with us since he loves to cook.
As a young girl I loved being around horses and that continued as I grew up.
The club is a great place to enjoy fellowship, camping, meeting new friends, and being able to enjoy our horses together.
Retired Board Members:
Lynda Hundley (retired 2020)
Lynda grew up in Florida but has been living in New York for several years. She recently returned to Florida with her horses, as a full time resident. She has been riding for many years and recently purchased her first living quarters trailer and is looking forward to traveling and camping with her horses. Thank you, Lynda, for your service to the club!
Julie Beard (Retired 2019)
Julie lives in DeLand with her husband, Chris, three shorthaired pointers, two horses and a pig named Walter which was rescued by their son, Matt. She works for Blackadar Insurance in Longwood and is also actively involved on the Florida Hospital Fish Memorial Foundation Board as well as the 4H Advisory Board for Volusia County. She has coordinated several of the Children’s Miracle Network rides but plans to simply enjoy Toby this year on the trail!
Thank you, Julie, for your service to the club!
Robin Bures (Retired as Board Member in 2018)
My name is Robin Bures and I started riding about 5 yrs ago after my kids moved out. I found I needed a hobby and decided to try horses. I had been a show mom for years, carting my girls to and from lessons and shows with my husband but never really rode. I wasn’t sure if it would be a good fit for me but I found it is actually a GREAT fit! My husband had his own hobbies but took up riding to spend time with me and it is great having something together. We enjoy camping with new people and meeting up with friend along the way. I ride English and take lessons in dressage, entering local shows and ride western for trails. I am starting to become involved in obstacle trail challenges and am looking forward to competing in this new adventure.
Brett Bures Introduction: (Retired as Board Member in 2018)
My name is Brett Bures, and my wife and I started riding about 5 years ago on a regular basis after the kids moved out for college. I am a golfer and fisherman, and started riding to keep my wife company. I had grown up riding horses that our neighbors owned, with or without their permission! We found that we really enjoy camping, finding new places and meeting new people. I have also competed in Western Pleasure bringing home Reserve Champion. My show days are behind me but now I an starting to become interested in obstacle trail challenges.
Welcome, Robin and Brett!
Florida Trail Blazers welcomes new board members Tracy McCommon and Jim Lawrence! Tracy and Jim replace retiring board members Clara Capps and Beth Emmons, who have decided to retire from their leadership roles with Florida Trail Blazers after nearly 30 years combined service. These members have filled vital roles in the continued success of the club. Clara was the Florida Trail Blazers President for 12 years, Vice-President for 1 year and Board Member for 4 years. Beth served as treasurer and Board Member for over 10 years.
During their leadership, there were many club accomplishments. Some of the many projects completed during their tenure were the addition of water lines at Princess Place Preserve in the equine camping area. The paddocks at Fechtel were rebuilt. Water troughs were donated to Tidewater trailheads, picnic tables were donated to Fechtel and Cross Creek Horse Rescue. Gates and 16 foot boards were donated to the Agricultural Museum, along with financial support. Shangrila’s muck buckets and carts were donated by the club. Boards and club labor was donated to build paddocks at Rima Ridge Trailhead. Clara and Beth appreciate all the support given to them in accomplishing the club’s goals to preserve and protect equestrian trails in Central Florida. Though Clara and Beth are retiring from their leadership roles, they are not retiring from riding. They will continue to enjoy riding with the group. Thanks to both these members for their dedication to the club; see you on the trail soon!
Since we had two vacancies on the board , volunteers to fill these slots were solicited from club members earlier this year. Tracy McCommon and Jim Lawrence have stepped in to fill Clara’s and Beth’s board member roles. Welcome and thanks to you both!
Last year, Chris Gropp, a Board Member, volunteered to take over the Treasurer position from Beth Emmons. Thanks to Chris for her role in managing the club’s finances. She has done a great job! Alex Auton continues in his role as President, Roly Coto as Vice President, and Ellen Bolton Secretary.
The McCommon FamilyIf you would like to become a member of the board or an officer, please let any one of the board members know……your participation in leadership would be welcome!
The Board Members met recently and put together the ride schedule for the upcoming season. We hope you enjoy the choices….have a safe and happy season!