Saddle-up for St. Jude at trail ride

Published 11:00 pm Tuesday, September 13, 2011

When Danny Thomas founded St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis the survival rate for victims of childhood cancer was about 20 percent. Today, the survival rate is nearing 80 percent.

St. Jude research hospital has played a vital role in the treatment of childhood cancer and that is due to the tremendous support that the research hospital receives from caring people all around the world who participate in a variety of fundraising events.

B.B. Palmer and Max Ellis of Pike County have ridden in several Saddle Up for St. Jude fundraising events. So, when Palmer received a call from St. Jude inquiring about the possibility of a Saddle Up event in Pike County, he said, “Let me call a few folks.”

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Those folks were Ellis, who owns After All Acres near Springhill, and Murray Langford who owns and operates L&L Lakes in Springhill.

“Max has ridden in more Saddle Up for St. Jude rides than I have and I knew he would be interested and Murray jumped right in with us,” Palmer said. “Not only is a Saddle Up event for a very worthy cause, it’s also a lot of fun for everyone who participates.

“So, we’re inviting everyone to join us in helping St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital fight cancer and other catastrophic diseases by participating in the Saddle Up for St. Jude Trail Ride on Saturday at After All Acres.”

Gates for the Saddle Up for St. Jude Trail Ride will open for registration at 6 a.m. Saturday with the first riders out at 9 a.m.

“We’ll have sausage and biscuits for the riders before they hit the trail,” Palmer said. “We’ll also have a couple of wagons for those who don’t saddle up but want to enjoy riding the trail and you can bring your wagon and ride.”

The six-mile, round trip ride from After All Acres to L&L Lakes meanders through the woodlands and pasturelands and to the water’s edge.

“It’s as prettier trial ride as you’ll find around here,” Palmer said. “The scenery is fantastic at this time of year. We have guided slow rides and fast rides. It will be fun ride either way.”

When the riders return to After All Acres around noon, they’ll enjoy entertainment by the Benton Brothers and Company Southern gospel/bluegrass group while they dine on a Dutch oven cooked lunch prepared by the Lower Alabama Dutch Oven Group.

“We’ll have about eight cookers going and we’ll serve a lunch of beef stew, biscuits and peach cobbler and you’ll have a hankering for more,” Palmer said. “Everybody will be invited to stay around and enjoy the entertainment and fellowship and those who want to ride again can hit the trail.”

Palmer said the “trail” is fenced all the way, so there’s no chance of getting lost.

“So, you can just ride all you want,” he said. “We’re doing this for the kids who are benefiting from the research and care that has become synonymous with St. Jude.”

Gate admission to Saddle Up for St. Jude is $25 and those 10 years and under will be admitted free. The first 100 in the gate get a St. Jude Saddle Up for St. Jude t-shirt.

“We welcome riders and wagons, too, so we hope everyone will join us Saturday for the Saddle Up for St. Jude Trail Ride at After All Acres.”

After All Acres is located at 5799 County Road 2262 (about two miles from Springhill on the Henderson Highway).