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Saddle Up for St. Jude trail ride slated for April 29


The friends and family of the late Kathy Smith, a horse and youth enthusiast, is hosting their 26th Saddle Up for St. Jude trail ride, barbecue and auction on Saturday, April 29 at 1 p.m. at the farm of Ernie Ehlers, 10 miles north of Mountain Grove to honor her memory. 

The event gives equestrians and non-equestrians alike the opportunity to raise funds to help support the lifesaving mission of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, one of the world’s premier pediatric cancer research centers.

Riders have seven miles of scenic trail through the farms of Ernie Ehlers and neighbors.

Guests who do not ride visit in the barn at Ernie Ehlers’ house and browse silent and live auction items. 

Following the trail ride, a barbecue (at approximately 2:30 p.m.) under the tent provided by David and Cherri Ellis and auction (live and silent at approximately 3 p.m.) ensue with all proceeds going to the Children’s Hospital.

If attendees could bring a side dish to share, it would be greatly appreciated. Meat and drinks are provided as is serviceware. Some of the auction items include the annual saddle, an iron porch swing, quilts, tack, hand-made knives and spurs, and various other items.  There is a minimum donation of $10 per person 12 and over at the gate or collect sponsorships prior to the ride. 

All horses must have a current negative coggins test which will be checked prior to entry on the grounds.

Please do not bring pets or alcoholic beverages to the event but do bring your lawn chairs.

This is the 26th year this group has held the Saddle Up for St. Jude ride/auction and has raised more than $212,750 since it began in 1998. 

“We look forward to this event to help raise awareness and funds for the kids of St. Jude while honoring the memory of my mom, Kathy Smith” said Kim Ehlers, event coordinator.

“The Saddle Up for St. Jude event brings all together for a good cause - to support the mission of St. Jude of finding cures to treat deadly childhood diseases.” 

For information, find 26th Annual Kathy Smith Memorial St. Jude Benefit Trailride on Facebook or email Kim at ehlersek@gmail.com or call 417-259-0667.

For information on how to host your own Saddle Up for St. Jude event, call 1-800-567-0675 or visit www.stjude.org/saddleup.


About St. Jude

Since opening in 1962, St. Jude has treated children from all 50 states and around the world. No child is ever denied treatment because of a family’s inability to pay.

With a daily operating cost of over $2.2 million, St. Jude depends mostly on public contributions and fundraising events, like Saddle Up for St. Jude.

The hospital is internationally recognized for its pioneering research and treatment of children with cancer and other life-threatening diseases like sickle cell disease.

Its research has helped push overall survival rates for childhood cancer from less than 20 percent when the institution opened to greater than 80 percent today.

It is the first and only National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center devoted solely to children, and no family ever pays St. Jude for care.

In 2022, about 8,600 patients were treated and 6,149 enrolled in the St. Jude life program which brings survivors back to the hospital for regular health screenings. 

For more information, go to www.stjude.org and follow St. Jude on www.facebook.com/stjude and also at www.twitter.com/stjude.