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(Neb)-Joe Lemmon Family Named Ride The Ridge Trail Bosses

By: John Axtell Posted at: 05/08/2017 11:55 PM
CHADRON - The Joe Lemmon family - Joe, Terri, Shalee, and Jake - have been picked as the Trail Bosses for this summer's 26th annual Ride the Ridge trail ride on June 17. Trail Bosses are selected by Ride the Ridge members for being notable horsemen, women or families.

        It's actually the second time Joe and Terri have been named Trail Bosses, the first coming 2 decades ago, but Terri, a Nebraska Extension 4-H assistant, can't take part this year because Ride the Ridge is occurring the same day as a key progress show.

      Joe is actually a second-generation Ride the Ridge trail boss with Shalee and Jake third-generation because Joe's late father and longtime Fort Robinson State Park superintendent Jim Lemmon led the Ride in 2001...just a few weeks before his death from a heart attack while riding the pastures checking on animals at Fort Robinson.

         Shalee Lemmon says it's "pretty exciting" for the family to be named the trail bosses because her parents have been involved every year since the event began and its been a family event ever since she's been old enough to remember.

       This year's Ride - actually morning and afternoon rides a GPS Poker Run, plus American Quarter Horse Association training sessions, and the Trail Horse Challenge Competition - will be at Fort Robinson, where Joe grew up and worked for a time, and Shalee says her dad is still "always showing us new things, talking about the history and activities to do around the area."

      The family joined The Outriders on a practice ride to select this year's route and Shalee says they found "a really nice trail that incorporates both exciting and daring trails," with "a few obstacles (that) any level of rider could handle"...adding that her dad told Fort Robinson stories the whole time.

        Ride the Ridge was begun to publicize trail riding opportunities in the Pine Ridge and gain support for creating a trail from Chadron State Park to Fort Robinson. Early rides started at various locations between the two parks, but in recent years have begun almost exclusively at either Fort Robinson or the Outriders Trailhead on the Nebraska National Forest just north of Chadron State Park.

       Participation peaked at more than 320 riders from across Nebraska and several states, and has averaged in the neighborhood of 100 the last several years. Shalee Lemmon is excited to get "some new blood and travelers new to northwest Nebraska" who always comment on the beautiful the scenery, something she takes pride in.

       Ride the Ridge is free, but a park entry pass is needed and there's a $5.00 fee for the trail challenge training and competition. Riders of all skills and ages are welcome, participants must bring their own horse, stalls and lodging are available at Fort Robinson State Park., and  registration on June 17 begins at 8:00 a.m. and the morning ride leaving at 9:00.


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