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Sunday, May 1, 2016

Saddle 'em up! Strolling Jim Trail Ride draws hundreds

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Riders -- and their horses -- arrive in a variety of ways, and from across the country, to attend the Strolling Jim Memorial Trail Ride. The ride begins at 10 a.m. Saturday at the Wartrace horse show grounds. The $10 entry fee benefits local families.
(Submitted photo)
The Strolling Jim Memorial Trail Ride, now in its 12th year, will be held this Saturday in Wartrace. An average of 500 riders attend the family-friendly event each year, according to organizer Ray Pimental.

"Once you come, you're hooked," Pimental said Wednesday as he ticked off name after name of riders who attend year after year. They call Pimental weeks in advance to let him know they're on their way, as did Sandy Harries who participated a few years ago and was driving with a friend and their horses from Wyoming.

"They were in Kentucky this morning, and should be here today," Pimental said, as if updating the travel status of guests at a family reunion.

A couple of weeks ago, the wife of a longtime rider called to let Pimental know her husband wouldn't be attending this year, "He had passed away that very morning, but he had been so looking forward to the ride, that she called to let me know," he said.

Sandi Harries and Muriel Devine arrived Wednesday from Clark, Wyo., to participate in the trail ride.
(T-G Photo by Tracy Simmons)
Many families use the day-long event as an opportunity to bond while riding through the picturesque Bedford County countryside.

Pimental's wife and daughter started Wednesday night baking 1,300 pieces of homemade dessert to accompany the 60 gallons of Tony Smith chili and the 600 hot dogs which will serve the riders and guests. A live bluegrass band will perform for the lunch crowd.

It's a family-oriented event, Pimental likes to stress -- and at $10 a rider, the best value, he says, for any fall trail ride held locally.

Proceeds from the event go to benefit local families who are struggling with personal or medical issues.

Parking is available at the Wartrace horse show grounds. The ride begins at 10 a.m. and lunch is served at noon before riders return to the trail. For more information call Pimental at (931) 580-2426.