Raising and riding horses is lots of fun for horse lover Tammy Cox and she is using that love to raise money for the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
Cox will mount her Spotted Mountain Saddle Horse, Gem Dandy, and lead a trail ride this Sunday along the South Fork of Station Camp Creek.
“The ride will be about 27 miles and will probably take about six hours,” she said.
The ride will begin from Cox’s business, “Hillside Tack,” at 10 a.m. It will conclude at the sh
op around 4 p.m. w
hen she has activities planned for riders, their families and anybody else who wants to come.
“I have done these trail rides in the past, but I have gone all out this year,” she explained. “There will be lots of food, wagon rides and pony rides.”
Riders will take pledges at so much per mile of the ride or a flat donation, but everything else i
“People can make donations if they want to,” she said. “100 percent of what we raise will go to St. Jude’s, there are no administrative costs.”
This isn’t the first such trail ride that Cox has sponsored. She said that in the past she has raised $1,500 but she is hoping to top that this year.
“We have trail rides every Sunday and sometimes we have eight or ten riders,” she said. “I hope we have more than that for this fundraiser.”
Cox has loved horses all her life and got her first pony when she was 12. She built her tack shop on Wagersville Road in 1994 where she sells everything a horse rider needs including saddles, bridles and halters. She even has some cowboy boots. She also makes repairs on riding equipment.
“I built the shop first and lived in a house on the farm next door, then about four years after I built the shop, I attached a house to,” she said.
A picture of rustic tranquility, the house features a kitchen on the same level with the shop and a quaint upstairs sitting room and three bedrooms.
“My grandmother made this quilt,” she said as she lovingly caresses the cover on her bed in the cedar-walled bedroom.
Cox’s love of horses is evident in all the rooms of her home. A collection of hand-carved horses adorn a shelf in the sitting room and other statues and figurines fill every nook and cranny.
“They came from all over,” she said. “Everywhere I travel I bring back a horse.”
There is a television in the sitting room, but the only thing Tammy, her husband, Kenny, and children, Amanda and Seth watch on it are movies on video and DVD.
“I have a satellite hookup for my computer, but not for the television,” she said.
The computer seems strangely out of place in her comfortable country hillside home.
Participants in Saturday’s trail ride will receive lapel pins and other prizes. Tammy is hoping for good weather and lots of people.
St. Jude’s takes care of children with all kinds of catastophic illnesses regardless of ability to pay.
“Come on out Sunday for a day of food, fun and riding,” Tammy said.