By Gilbert Hoffman
HOUSTON – Ten trail rides converged on Memorial Park last Friday night, after a week on the road from their origin cities.
In our readership area, two trail rides made the trek, stopping along the way about six times to rest, sleep and prepare for the next day. Many also shared the experience with local residents who visited the campsites, and elementary schools such as Sheldon and Hilliard Elementary.
The Northeastern Trail Ride and the Spanish Trail Ride are the two that come through our area on the way into Memorial Park.
The Northeastern Trail Ride starts in Cheeks, Texas near Beaumont, travels 111 miles with 55 riders and 19 wagons.
This ride was established in 1982, and the trail boss is Anthony Bruno, taking over for his dad who passed away last year.
The Spanish Trail Ride starts in Shepherd, Texas north of Houston. It travels 109 miles, with 125 riders and 9 wagons. It was established in 1961 and the trail boss is Larry Cantrell. By coincidence Cantrell took over from his father, who also passed away last year.
Obviously the ride is a physical challenge, but interviews with the participant tell how much they look forward to it each year.
Hopefully you got to observe the rides in one of their travels through the area. The Northeastern Trail Ride stopped overnight Wednesday at the Crosby Fairgrounds, and Thursday night at the Triangle Seven Arena in North Forest. They travelled along old Beaumont Highway for part of the trip, stopping at elementary schools to show their horses and wagons, and tell their stories to enthralled children.
The Spanish Trail Ride stopped at Humble Civic Center Wednesday night, and Knight of Columbus on Whitney prior to Friday’s ride into Memorial Park. They travelled along Aldine-Bender for part of the trip, and Shepherd after that.
The ultimate goal was to participate in the Rodeo-Houston parade on Saturday in downtown Houston.
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