Trail Riders need to brush off their horses and mark their calendars. On April 20th and 21st, the West Texas Rehabilitation Center and the historic Fort Chadbourne Ranch will once again join forces for a traditional trail ride to benefit the Center. Rehab and the Ranch’s family have a long-standing relationship which began in 1960 when Conda Wylie donated a pen of Angus calves that sparked what is now Roundup for Rehab, a major fundraising program. Founded in 1953, the West Texas Rehab Center is a nationally respected outpatient physical rehabilitation facility with sites in Abilene, San Angelo and Ozona. Now serving more than 500 patients a day, the Rehab Center continues to provide services which improve the quality of life for patients regardless of their financial circumstance.
Conda Wylie’s great-grandson, Garland Richards and wife Lana have continued to build a strong relationship with West Texas Rehab. In 1994, a new tradition began when Garland agreed to host the first Trail Ride for Rehab at the Fort Chadbourne Ranch. Deemed a success, that first ride raised $4,000 to help the Center. The 2013 event signals 19 years of riding the trails on some of the most well-known ranches in West Texas such as the Lambshead, Pitchfork, Spade, Rocking Chair, Guitar and many more. Through the years, the Rehab’s trail ride has been a successful venture raising a total of $406,795 to support patient services.
This year’s event will be the fourth ride at the Fort Chadbourne Ranch and Fort location. The ranch was originally purchased in 1877 by Thomas L. Odom and wife Lucinda. The land purchase included the ruins of Fort Chadbourne, an Army outpost built in 1852 for protection from the Comanches and also serving as a stage stop for the Butterfield Overland Mail route. The Richards family has spent the last 15 years in the restoration of the Fort through their non-profit foundation. Trail Ride participants will have the opportunity to explore the restored Fort grounds, buildings and the recently built 12,500 square foot Visitor Center which offers a half million artifacts that have been recovered by the Concho Valley Archeological Society.
Guests may arrive at the Fort Chadbourne Ranch on Friday, April 19th after 3:00 p.m. to set-up camp. Registration will be from 8 – 9:15 am on Saturday morning followed by the ride beginning at 9:30 for a six to seven mile trail. Lunch will be held at the Fort and Visitor Center, with a ride back to camp completing the afternoon. That evening, riders will be treated to a real Chuckwagon meal followed by an auction with a lot of lively and friendly bidding. Sunday sunrise brings everyone back to the Chuckwagon for breakfast. The morning also includes a short worship service and a final ride for the weekend.
The 2013 Trail Ride for Rehab is an opportunity for any rider to enjoy a really unique experience. Minimum fee for adults is $40 and $15 for children under 12 years. For more information or questions, please contact Archie Jobe at 325-660-8334. To pre-register on-line, go to www.WestTexasRehab.org/trail-ride or call WTRC at 325-793-3507.