RUTLAND TWP. — Approximately 200 people and their horses were in attendance on Saturday for the 22nd annual St. Jude Trail Ride at the Dill Farm near Rutland.
Despite running into a few bees on the trail, “everything went really well,” said Isabel Dill, who along with her husband Mike, their children and several friends and family, organize the annual event.
This year, the ride, prize drawings and donations raised more than $20,160 for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. That brings the total for the 22 annual events to more than $270,000.
At noon on Saturday the riders and their horses took to the 10-mile trail which crosses the hills and valleys of Rutland Twp. before returning to the starting point where participants take part in a hog roast and bean dinner.
Those in attendance had the opportunity to purchase tickets for chances at a number of items, including a saddle, saddle rack and a registered Tennessee Walker mare which was donated to the event by Carl Bell of Proctorville.
Over the years the trail ride has grown from a few riders raising less than $100 in the first year to a multi-day event which now includes camping and other festivities.
Top three fundraisers for the 2017 event were Debbie Lewis, $3,659; Carl Bell, $2,154 (proceeds from the horse raffle); and Jerry Smathers, $1,848.
As has become tradition, on Sunday those who have stayed overnight or want to come back for the day ride the trail backwards.
The annual event is held the third Saturday of September each year at the farm located off Beech Grove Road.
Sarah Hawley is the managing editor of The Daily Sentinel.