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Friday, July 25, 2014

A perfect time to hit the trail: Strolling Jim ride is Saturday

Thursday, October 11, 2012

(Photo)
The Strolling Jim Trail Ride is a favorite of local and out-of-state riders. The Wartrace horse show grounds offer ample parking for trailers and cars.
(Submitted photo)
Ray Pimental promises that if you come to ride Saturday, it will be, "The most fun you've had all year."

Fall officially began on Sept. 22, and trees are beginning to change color as cooler weather arrives. It's a perfect time to take part in the Strolling Jim Memorial Trail Ride, now in its 15th year.

The ride begins at 10 a.m. Saturday in Wartrace. An average of 500 riders attend each year, according to organizer Pimental.

More than riding

The $15 entry fee includes lunch -- Tony Smith's famous chili -- along with hot dogs and an array of desserts freshly baked by Pimental's wife and daughter. A live bluegrass band will perform for the lunch crowd.

Many families use the day-long event as an opportunity to bond while riding through the picturesque Bedford County countryside.

The mostly wooded trail through local farmland will provide views of emus, llamas, cattle, horses, streams and a picturesque lake. The terrain is easy, and Pimental recommends bringing a camera along.

"Once you come, you're hooked," Pimental said.

Family event

It's a family-oriented event, Pimental likes to stress -- and at $15 a rider, the best value, he says, of any fall trail ride held locally.

A 12-month Coggins test is required for all entrants, and the organizers ask that a red tail ribbon be tied to any horse that is known to kick or be aggressive.

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 the afternoon.

For more information, call Pimental at (931) 580-2426.