Rain doesn#039;t stop benefit trail ride

Published 12:00 am Saturday, May 17, 2003

The rain poured heavily, but it did not affect the spirit of the horse riders waiting for the skies to clear to hit the trails.

The Lawrence County Chapter of the Ohio Horsemen's Association sponsored the second annual St. Jude Children's Research Hospital Benefit Trail Ride Saturday at the Wayne National Forest/Lake Vesuvius Horse Trail System. During this event, riders arrived to take a 10-mile trek through the Paddle Creek loop and the Vesuvius Connector and made donations to St. Jude to participate.

Because of Saturday's rain, turnout was very low. Charlie Whitt, chapter president, said 50 riders came last year and the council was able to raise $3,700. This year, 20 riders came and raised $2,800.

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Whitt commended the riders who trudged through the wet weather to attend.

"They're heroes," he said. "They came out and braved the weather to help out."

The riders ate a complimentary dinner and continued to wait underneath a tent, listening to country music, hoping the rain would stop.

Barbara Skelton of Willow Wood and Gary Lewis of Scottown rode their horses in the rain.

"It didn't make any difference," Skelton said. "(Her horse) Harley loves it, and he's glad to be here."

"I can't control the weather; I'm not a weatherman," Lewis said. "We've been ready to go for three hours."

Council chaplain and Kitts Hill resident Mike Shannon wore a plastic cover over a straw cowboy hat while camped under a tent with several rain-soaked comrades.

"I came here for the fellowship. These are good people to be around," he said."

While waiting for the rain to subside, the group raffled off a statue of a mother and baby horse and a horse breast strap, donated by Danny R. Grim of Circle Bar G in Grayson, Ky.