The Tennessee Saddle Club will celebrate 50 years this Labor Day Weekend.
Established in 1965, the annual state meet has been held in Lebanon for more than 20 years. The James E. Ward Agricultural Center will once again opened their doors to riders and the general public on Thursday, Sept. 3, at 5 p.m. The meet will run through Sunday and is $5 admission for adults and $2 for children under the age of 12.
Tennessee Saddle Club President Ricky Smith said 33 saddle clubs from all over Tennessee and lower parts of Kentucky will attend.
"A couple are on the Kentucky line, but they go through a process to be able to come and ride here," he explained, adding that riders are as young as 2-years-old all the way up to their 80s. "We've got a 6 and under division, 12 and under, 13-17, adults and then a 50 and over."
Vice President Ray Mundy said he has been riding in the show since the age of 6. He won a first place title at the age of 12 and again when he was 51.
Smith stated that many families come to the meet for the holiday weekend each year to catch up and have fun. "There is a lot of socializing, folks having a good time, kids playing together," he said. "They will stay here all weekend camping and cooking out."
Two of those families are the Sullivans and the Knights of Macon County, who set up camp on Wednesday morning. The families, including Dalton Farley, Dale Farley, Leroy Knight, Dusty Knight, Misty Knight, Jessie Knight and Cheyenne Knight, connected by marriage said they have come to the state show for the past 36 years.
Mt. Juliet Saddle Club President Tim Tilly said it has been a family affair for him as well.
"It is friendly competition and good comradery. Kids who have been in it grow up, get married and then bring their kids bad. It is good to see everybody and ride."
Staff Writer Sabrina Garrett may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.