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Horse enthusiasts to raise money for St. Jude#039;s

The love of children and horses will bring a couple dozen people to Lake Vesuvius Saturday.

The Lawrence County Chapter of the Ohio Horseman's Council will have its "Saddle Up for St. Jude" annual trail ride to benefit St. Jude Children's Hospital. The local effort is part of a national endeavor by horse enthusiasts to raise money to aid children's cancer research.

"We've been doing this about four years and one of our members brought up the suggestion of taking part in the St. Jude's ride," organization president Angela Todd said. "We've been doing this ever since."

Club member Paul Perry said 25-30 horseback riders are expected to participate. Last year, the day-long, 10-mile trek raised more than $3,000 for the cancer research hospital.

Perry said since the club began its St. Jude's ride four years ago, the interest in the event has grown.

"More people are starting to see what we're doing and they want to get involved," Perry said. "It's a good club, it's like one big family and it's a good cause, too."

The riders will depart the horse camp area at 10 a.m. and then stop to eat dinner and have an auction at 4 p.m.

"We have a Clinton Anderson autographed book we're going to auction off," Todd said. "Jim's Gun Shop has given us a Boyd's Bear and a Longaberger basket. And we will have raffle tickets for a foal we're going to auction off Labor Day weekend. This foal is not even born yet. It is supposed to be born this month."

Any local business that would like to donate items for the auction may contact Perry at 646-3251.

The St. Jude's ride is one of several community activities the local horseman's council participates in throughout the year.