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2002/04/09

Tom Boyd Trailride Goes Silver by Tom Burriss The 25th Annual Tom Boyd Memorial Trailride will be held at the Natchez Trace State Forest and Park, near Jackson, TN, on April 20 and 21, 2002. Three to four hundred riders are expected for the annual fundraiser. The original trailride, held in 1977, was for the benefit of avid horseman, Tom Boyd. Boyd, who had developed cancer, had always had a dream to foster a greater interest for and participation in trailriding. Initially the ride had been called the Cancer Fund Ride. Sadly, Boyd passed away later that year. His legacy has continued, as this single trailride has spawned eight other major rides at Natchez Trace. Originally, a small area was cleared off for riders to camp. Water and porta-johns were available. Now the park and forest are outfitted with permanent facilities including bathhouses and campsites, day parking, and a park barn with stalls. "Tom would be proud to know after 25 years the passion for trail riding is the #1 event at Natchez Trace," touts the event's poster. The Tom Boyd Trailride has changed funds numerous times over the years. With the growing trend of fund raising by many avenues, the current organizers have set their purpose to support an effort closer to home. As it has been for the past four years, the proceeds from the ride will go to support the Carl Perkins Child Abuse Center. Last Year the event raised $2,000 for the center. Of special note, there will be children from the inaugural ride who will be bringing their children to this anniversary ride. As well, two horses, which were ridden in the original ride, will be ridden for this special event and numerous progeny will also be present. Registration will begin at 9 a.m. on Friday and will continue through Sunday at the main entrance to the camp. Campsites are available on a first come, first serve basis. There will be water and electric hookups at each site. Park officers will collect camping fees. It will cost $8 per day to ride, or $15 for both days. Children who are twelve and under will ride for half price. These fees are the same ride fees from 1977. Riders will have a variety of groups with which to ride, including pleasure, gaited and all day. There will be a NTHA cookout on Saturday night. On Sunday morning church will be held at 8 a.m. and will be followed by a grand prize drawing for a western roper saddle, along with other prizes. For more information contact: Darrell Douglas -- 731-986-8507; Albert Stokes -- 731-967-3885; or Larry Spencer -- 731-586-2512.

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