More than 250 riders, drivers and spectators along with 106 horses from across the nation and around the world gathered together to experience in the 55th Annual Chief Joseph Trail Ride organized by the Appaloosa Horse Club (ApHC), July 22-26, 2019. The Chief Joseph Trail Ride is a progressive ride tracing, as closely as possible, the route Chief Joseph and the Nez Perce took while attempting to escape the US Cavalry in 1877.
The ride is currently on its fifth passage of the route that takes thirteen years to complete. This year, when riders and their Appaloosas covered 113 miles in just five days in Idaho from Grangeville to Musselshell Meadows, the third leg was completed.
A variety of special presentations and ceremonies were held throughout the week in respect of the significant history being retraced. Riders from twenty U.S. states as well as Germany and Norway attended this year’s event. Many who attend the Chief Joseph Trail Ride return year after year, like Robert Swick and Bill & Vivian Bobbitt, who have taken part for more than 40 years. Not only do riders keep returning, so do the Appaloosas who carry them. Nine horses on this year’s ride have each been participating for more than 10 years.
Those who attend the annual ride don’t soon forget the experiences or the memories made, reflecting on them long after the sun sets on final camp. Many will count down the days until they meet again in the summer of 2020, continuing on the route Chief Joseph and the Nez Perce laid nearly 150 years ago.
Be sure to watch for the October/November 2019 issue of Appaloosa Journal for additional coverage of the 55th Annual Chief Joseph Trail Ride.
The Appaloosa Horse Club (ApHC) was established in 1938 with a mission of honoring the heritage and promoting the future of the Appaloosa horse. The ApHC has since registered more than 700,000 Appaloosas, which are known for their distinctive color, intelligence and even temperament. True to their reputation as an extremely versatile breed, Appaloosas can be found in nearly every discipline including racing, endurance riding and serving as reliable family horses. The international breed registry is headquartered in Moscow, Idaho, the heart of the Palouse region—the Appaloosa breed’s namesake and point of origin.