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2002/06/12

2002 Tommy Cain Memorial Trial Ride A Great Success by Larry Spencer The Tommy Cain Memorial Trial Ride was held on April 26-28 raising over $7,000.00 for the Vanderbilt Heart Research Foundation which is actively engaged in research on improving bypass surgery, heart transplants, cholesterol studies, stints and other heart research. All the money raised during this ride will be spent supporting this research. The Tommy Cain Memorial Trial ride is in its 4th year, growing and getting better each year. It began four years ago after Tommy died of a massive heart attack and the Holladay Polo Club wanting to do something in his memory decided that they would host the annual trial ride with all the proceeds going to heart research. The Polo Club raises money for the heart research by charging a small fee for each rider, food sales and donations from over 100 businesses and individuals who donated goods, services and money. The goods ranged from a ton of horse feed by the Benton County Co-op to a Cub tractor donated by Randall Phillips all of which was sold at auction. The Polo Club had it's beginning in the early 1990's with Tommy as one of it's charter members and has since grown into a very active, civic minded organization that besides the Heart Fund ride sponsors rides throughout the year for the entire family and annual hay rides for the smallest children. They have leased land on Dry Branch which they were developing into a family campground as well as a wrangler camp for the trail rides and a weekend campground for the members installing a number of trailer hookups, a water system, bath house, a kitchen building and many other general improvements turing it into a very nice facility. The Trail Ride really begins on Friday when campers and riders begin to arrive and set up camp. They come form a very wide area and they are usually entire families from the very least children to grown-ups who enjoy riding and camping as a family. On Friday night the Polo Club prepares a chicken BBQ supper and the people gather at the mess hall around the camp fires. On Saturday after a big Cowboy Breakfast prepared by the club, the riders mount up for the rides with more arrivals joining the hundreds that have already lined up with their horses. At about 9:00 a.m. they line up for the different rides, fast, slow wagon, etc. and soon they are riding off in different directions through the river hills arriving back in the camp by mid-afternoon tired but happy. The Polo Club had the night before, prepared hundreds of pounds of pork BBQ and on Saturday night everyone gathers around the camp fires and enjoys a big supper, auction of donated goods and entertainment by some musical groups. During all of this the children from the very least to teenagers rip and romp having a great time playing in the clear stream and riding their horses and ponies. On Sunday morning after another Cowboy Breakfast the riders take off for the hills again and then at about 2:00 p.m. a drawing is made for a beautiful engraved saddle which is given away each year to a lucky rider. This year's winner was Tony Utley of Camden. The Holladay Polo Club wishes t thank everyone that made a donation for this worthy cause and already plans are being formed for an even bigger and better ride next year.

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