Old Bits: Recap of AQHA’s Ride ’97

“A Ride to Remember”
AQHA RIDE ’97 in Easton, WA

On June 21,1997, riders and horse enthusiasts from all over our country converged on the first of a series of trail rides organized by the AQHA. Ride ’97 is a benefit ride for all horse people, all disciplines and all breeds.

Sponsored by Buick Park Avenue & GMC Sierra, proceeds will benefit research to promote equine health, therapeutic riding through the North American Riding for the Handicapped Association, programs of the American Quarter Horse Foundation and the equine industry in each state hosting this ride

Rides were held at selected scenic, horse-friendly sites across the diverse terrain of the United States. Rides were scheduled from Maine to Hawaii on public lands and private ranches. Rides were concluded with a relaxing meal and some states even had entertainment. We were our own entertainment at Easton, WA.

Approximately 35 riders headed out in 2-3 groups starting at 10:30-11 :00 AM on Saturday. Anxious steeds and riders headed out across the open field toward the local hillsides in hopes of seeing some wildlife and maybe snapping a few photos of the picturesque landscape.

The trail was fairly easy with only a few switchbacks, hills to climb and some creeks to cross. It was a great trail for beginner horses and riders. The more seasoned riders just sat back and enjoyed the view and company.

©NWHS Photo

The ride lasted about 2 to 3 hours. I enjoyed talking with other club members and meeting some new friends. We had a variety of breeds including a Paso Fino who faired pretty well among those stocky Quarter Horses. As the last of us ambled back into camp we could smell the “Dutch Oven Meal” being prepared for us by the “High Country Outfitters”.

The meal included Hawaiin Chicken among other delicious hot dishes. They even baked deserts in the dutch ovens. There was such a variety of good food I could hardly decide what to put on my plate next. I would highly recommend these people for outfitters. The rain even stayed away until we were almost through. The day ended up with drawings for coats, belt buckles (Montana Silversmith), useful horse articles, and more. All participants in the ride received a great beverage mug with the Ride ’97 Logo on it. Hats and t-shirts were available during the ride.

The Silver Ridge Ranch was great! We had full service campsite and corrals for each of our horses. The location is perfect for horseback trips, weekend getaways and the ranch is very close to the John Wayne Trail Access. If you don’t want to camp they have a comfortable lodge that has 7 guest rooms, sleeping up to 22 people. The lodge offers a full breakfast between 9 and 10 AM. Silver Ridge Ranch also offers snowmobiling, hiking, cross country skiing and more activities to suit all outdoor enthusiasts.

I really enjoyed the nice new shower facilities, complete with a hitching post in front of the building. The lodge has a big screen TV for all to enjoy and an entertainment room downstairs with a piano, pool table and many other indoor activities for those cold wet days we’d all rather stay indoors. Wild strawberries were all over the place, horses grazed in the meadow behind the lodge and all was fairly peaceful and quiet. I look forward to my next trip over there for some great trail riding and camping.

A special thank you to Bill Cassidy for organizing things on a local level. We all look forward to a greater response for next year and I must say, those of you who couldn’t make it “you really missed out!”












Published in September 1997 Issue



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