Being reared on a farm in Tennessee, and the seventh of eight kids, when my dad brought home a dozen horses, (mares and colts) I was the happiest little four year old girl in the world. I had new friends to talk to, tell secrets to, and they never told on me.
One of those mares my Dad brought home was a Tennessee Walker bred to a Champion Tennessee Walking Horse. On July 12, 1963 she delivered our first of many show horses, which started my love of riding, raising colts and show competitions.
Now, fast forward a few decades to April 2012.
Ken Wilson, owner and manager of Southeastern Saddle Club, contacted me with an idea to bring back the TWH shows to Athens. He asked if I knew of an organization that could help promote the event and he in return he would donate the proceeds. As fate would have it, the late Col. Sam Gibbons, one of the founding fathers of the Veterans Museum, had been associated for 37 years to the World Champion Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration in Shelbyville, TN as their show manager. It was a perfect fit!
This June 21st the 2nd Annual Sam Gibbons Memorial Walking Horse Show will be held at the Sheriff’s arena on Highway 99. You may contact Museum Director Sandy Thompson, 256-771-7578 or visit their website: www.AlabamaVeteransMuseum.com to see how you can sponsor a class, advertise in the program or get class information.
If you are looking for a great place to enjoy a scenic horseback ride, try the Richard Martin Rails to Trails. Located in Elkmont, this 10.2 mile trail offers a back-to-nature getaway. The trail is accessible at Veto or by the Red Caboose in downtown Elkmont, and ends at Piney Chapel Road. The trail is mile-marked, has resting benches and a facility with a pavilion at Piney Chapel Road. There is a large parking area for horse trailers at either section of the trail. This trail is suitable for walking, biking and horseback riding.
Stop by the Visitor Center to pick up a brochure on our 17 free trails in Athens-Limestone County or any of our brochures on the Civil War, Historic Homes, Birding, Hallelujah Trail, Antiques, Shopping, and Hotels & Restaurants. We are always happy to see you and will help make your stay enjoyable.
By: Teresa Todd, President, Athens-Limestone County Tourism Association