NATRC National Convention

The North American Trail Ride Conference (NATRC) held their annual convention on Chattanooga, Tenn. in February 17-18, 2017. The convention mascot was Jean Abernethy’s famous Fergus, her cartoon horse creation.

The convention got underway Friday morning with Angie McGhee reading her story “The Sponge,” from her book, The Lighter Side of Endurance Riding. You can read her funny story on facebook at: The Lighter Side of Endurance Riding.
The highlight of Friday’s activities was a presentation in the theater (with popcorn) by Jean Abernethy and Marty Findley: “Fergus Goes on an NATRC Ride.” Abernethy said, “The Convention was a grand experience, and I deeply appreciate NATRC members investment in me as one of their Keynote speakers.” Afterwards, Carolyn Chapman hosted everyone to hospitality with Appalachian Mountain Music by Nancy and Bill Sluys and The Trail Buddies.

Bev Roberts with NATRC told us: “Attendees LOVED Fergus and Jean Abernathy! In her first slide presentation, she explained how she got to be where she is today and showed us some of other works she has done on commission. Not all of them are cartoons or horses. Jean is a very talented artist and is a stickler for properly representing horses and their tack. Jean also had a book signing and sold a whole box of her two books! She is working on a second children's book that will be published later this year. 

“Jean’s second slide show was on Fergus's first NATRC competitive trail ride. She and our convention chair, Marty Findley, who is a terrific writer, collaborated on the show. Marty wrote a script and Jean designed the cartoons. It was hilarious! Our members suggested that Jean do a book fashioned after that slide program.”

During breaks, attendees could visit numerous vendors with everything for the trail rider, from underwear to saddles and, of course, the essential sponges!

Saturday’s short lectures included Andrew Murray, “Don’t Lose Your Mind In A Crisis;” Cheri Jeffcoat, “Wrapping Your Mind Around Trail Obstacles;” and Becky Pearman with tips on photography for horse lovers. After lunch were Dr. Beth Glosten, “The Riding Doctor;” and reminiscing about NATRC rides with Marty Findley, Laurie DiNatale, Patsy Conner, and Kim Cowart.

Saturday evening’s highlight was the National Awards Banquet. The NATRC 2016 President’s Cup winner was Turnner’s Wildcard, a.k.a. Hooch, owned and ridden by Lin Ward.

See photos of the convention at Becky Pearman’s SmugMug website:

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