Darrell Wallace – BCHA Chairman

I grew up near Seattle, in a rural area that became suburban in nature. We boarded horses for people who didn’t have enough acreage, so I got used to leading them around while I fixed fences. Didn’t get to ride them much, though, until I was about 45 and I bought a foal to train (with a lot of help!).
After college graduation, I started a 30+ year career with state government, all with the Washington State Employment Security Department. As I progressed into the ranks of management, I also benefitted from my involvement in an international professional association of 32,000 members, where I learned a lot about leading volunteers.
I joined BCH in Washington State sometime in the late 1990’s, and was soon elected to leadership positions, utilizing those management and volunteer skills I had picked up. I found that working on trails was my real passion, but writing and managing RTP grants enabled us to do much more! I was learning more about riding, and bought my Tennessee Walker that I still ride.
My good friend and mentor Bob Gish took me on my first pack trip in 2009 – 11 days in the Bob Marshall Wilderness in Montana! I was hooked, and soon bought my first pack horse. He made me look good as he packed camp gear, tools, and trail materials everywhere I led him. I found a profound sense of accomplishment and pride when we packed in tools and supplies for trail partners into Wilderness trails, and pure enjoyment when some of us packed into remote places to camp, fish, ride, and enjoy the solitude of nature in high altitudes.
I was blessed to meet my wife Kristy – at a horse stable! She had worked as a packer for an outfitter in the Oregon Cascades while still in college, so we hit it off and were married soon after. She loves those high vistas, and will always point her horse up the highest mountain they can climb. We are blessed with lots of beautiful mountains in Washington State, and I want to see as many of them as I can – that is why I work to keep our trails open. Trails that are choked with downed timber, or washed out, or brushed in, don’t allow us to ride into those beautiful areas.
Bob Gish dragged me to the BCHA National Board Meeting in Fort Worden in 2009, then to Butte in 2011, where I was appointed Parliamentarian. Soon I was a Director, then on the Executive Committee, and asked to run for Vice Chair. I stated that I would not run for re-election unless I would commit to run for Chair the following year, and that is what I did.
I am committed to our Mission, and to our Constitution. I am humbled every time I think about our history, and our traditions as back country horsemen. What a great organization! If we succeed in everything we strive for, it will be built on the legs of those who have gone before us, and on the backs of our hard-working volunteers. I hope you join us in our BCHA Mission!