Hundreds attend night one of Saddle-up for St. Jude trail ride and concert

Shoals

TUSCUMBIA, Ala. — A fundraiser, now in its 25th year, allows attendees to enjoy the great outdoors and live music, all while helping to cure childhood cancer.

The 25th annual Saddle-up for St. Jude fundraiser kicked off to an overflowing start Thursday evening at Gardiner Farms, with hundreds in attendance.

The three-day event allows attendees to ride their horses along more than 3,000 acres of trails, enjoy live music, food, and more.

Event host Jimmy Gardiner said this is the first time in the event’s history that it’s spanned three days.

“It’s just grown and grown,” Gardiner said. “This is our first Thursday night to Saturday deal so celebrating our silver anniversary, we’ve raised $2.5 million for St. Jude Hospital and we’re hoping to raise $250,000 this weekend.”

Gardiner said adding the extra day was a response to increased demand, but since it meant more of an opportunity to raise money for St. Jude, there was no objection.

“With the musical talent that we have in this area, we felt a necessity to grow and if you’re not growing, you’re backing up, so we want to keep moving forward for St. Jude Hospital,” Gardiner said.

Tickets for the event are $50 and that covers each day, but Gardiner said being able to contribute to saving a child’s life is priceless.

“We’ve seen so many lives here locally be changed by giving,” Gardiner said. “When you’re giving, you’re just a happier person. Gratitude is the best human emotion there is and so we have grateful hearts, and we want to share it.”

If you missed all the fun Thursday night, the event continues Friday the 16th and Saturday the 17th. Even if you don’t have a horse, the trails are open for hiking as well. You can even attend just to enjoy the live music.

Gardiner said there are 47 children in just the Shoals area alone being treated at St. Jude. Children’s Research Hospital.

Tickets can be purchased at the gate or by clicking here.

Every ticket purchased is a donation

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