Hines Farm Trail Ride

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By Tommy Brannon

The Hines’ Farm near Walnut, Mississippi was once again the site of the annual Saddle Up for St. Jude Trail Ride on October 3-4, 2015. This is the 15th year Curtis and Marjorie Hines and their family have hosted this trail ride. Frank Hines and his sister Beth Hines Davis are the organizers, and they said that their parents Curtis and Marjorie at age 93 and 96, still enjoy hosting it.

This is a big family and neighborhood project, with the trails marked by volunteers over several adjoining farms owned by cousins and friends. These volunteers mow the fields, trim trees and underbrush, decorate and help feed the guests with home cooked food and desserts. 

Frank said that folks like to come in on Friday and camp out for the weekend. There was a big bonfire on Friday night with live entertainment from the porch in front of the “St. Jude House.” 

On Saturday, John Caldwell of Tiplersville, MS conducted an auction of donated items during lunch. A Billy Cook saddle, donated by Billy Cook and Terry Avent, brought in $5,500. Terry is a “regular,” and travels from Hastings, Minnesota every year for this trail ride. Mat Brown donated a Lit cooler. Other volunteers and contributors included Dick Sanders with the Bank of Holly Springs and Scott Steele, who took off a week to help clear the trails and organize the entertainment. Food was provided by the Junction Inn in Grand Junction, TN.      

 A sudden cold snap that dropped in on the Mid-South that weekend did not dampen the spirits of the riders. Beth noted that because of the cooler temperatures, “some of the horses got a little frisky.” 

Frank said, “The trail ride takes two to three hours and is well marked. It is a good trail for everyone – for old people, young people, old horses, and young horses. There are not any Man from Snowy River drops, but it is still fun. We had big horses and little horses, mules, English riders, western riders, and Walking Horses.  This trail ride gets bigger every year!”

And so do the contributions to St. Jude. The weekend’s fun activities brought in over $13,000 this year to benefit the patients at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Frank Hines said that, cumulatively, the trail ride has brought in over $100,000 for St. Jude. Because of the generosity of the community, businesses, and volunteers, all of the proceeds can go to St. Jude.

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