First at 5:30AM or close to it, music would ooze through the dawn thanks to Dr Rustebakke. Be thankful I didn't find that version on youtube! LOL
This little gal and others like her get to ride the CJTR thanks to scholarships that are made available through fundraising efforts.
But seriously, the Chief Joe ride continues to be more than just riding. I learnt to bring "fun" money because three groups work very hard to earn money to give scholarships to kids so they can ride the CJTR. The Chief Joseph Foundation and the Nez Perce Appaloosa Horse Club both have Raffles and Silent Auctions with the funds going to help kids get to the rides. We all know that as we get older, it is the kids who will carry the torch and keep this ride going forward. This year 7 youth were sponsored by the groups wonderful efforts which of course are supported by the riders. They also sold some nice T-Shirts!
And we can't forget Kirk Knowlton who sacrificed first his "stash", then some how lost his hat in the deal too as it was auctioned off for youth funds money. Jehnet Carlson won that bid and was given the honor of shaving Kirk's mustache while wearing what was his hat. That's a BRAVE man!
All of which is a very cool and fun way to help a youngster fullfil their dream!
The ApHC Museum also sold some shirts, books and had a fundraising Raffle for a free entry into next years ride.
This is Kristen's photo of the plaque she received for 13 years! Yeah I want one :)
Beyond all of that, there are trail awards given to those who participate for 5 yrs, 10 yrs, 13, 26, 39 and yes even 52 years. And that 52 was Anne Mischel, featured in my previous blog.
Pat Roberts and Dirk Vanderby were awarded 26 yr buckles!
And no one forgot the horses who make all this possible. All horses must be registered Appaloosas to enter, and the ApHC has included the Chief Joseph Trail Ride in the prestigious Medallion Award system. Horses who complete the ride for ten (yes ten) consecutive years will be awarded an ApHC Medallion. There is also an award for horses who are ridden on the ride for 13 years, remember it takes 13 years to do the entire trail at approximately 100 miles a year.
Lucy Samuels and her mare come up to the podium for their ApHC Bronze Medallion
The ride really does offer a lot to the people and the horses. The week long event takes on a life of it's own through all the activities, dinner, dancing, riding and fun. And as the sun goes down, Marcos Dominguez is strumming his guitar and playing some fine music! It's no wonder some of these people just simply can't stay away and keep this event going for all of us!