Conley's Horse Photos

2019 Rader-Crawford Ride


For the past several years, Homer Rader and Danny Crawford have arranged the schedule so that their two wagon rides occur back to back. Homer leads a wagon train ride from his farm near Paris, Ky on Wednesday and spends three days riding across Bourbon, Nicholas, and Bath counties to Fleming county where Danny's farm is located. The idea is for Homer's ride to end on Friday afternoon and for Danny's weekend ride to begin at that time.

This year, we left Homer's farm on July 17, The weather forcast for that week called for some of the highest temperatures of the year thus far with heat index figures predicted to exceed 100 degrees F. As usually happens when you have this type of weather, there were also calls for the chance of thunderstorms almost every day. When we left Homers place, there were only 3 units, they were driven by Homer, Danny, and by Roger Timble. We also had Bev Merrill riding her horse Angel. I rode with Danny and Steve Patton joined Roger. This was Steve's first ever wagon ride and Roger had him driving his team of mules by the time we arrived at Danny's. Overall, the three day ride to Danny's went very well. We were visited twice by brief heavy downpours, but only one was while we were riding. The first two days went pretty smoothly, but the last day was a little tough. The sun on Friday was very hot and there was little shade available along most of our chosen route. We took several breaks to water the teams and let them "blow". As usual, we made our lunch stop on Friday at the Sherburne store for one of Carolyn Jone's great sandwiches and to allow me to take the traditional photo of the group.

We got to Danny's on Friday afternoon and found that several additional teams were on hand for the weekend ride. When we pulled out on Saturday morning, we had 10 wagons, carts and buggies in the lineup. There were also about 10 outriders who joined the wagons. The Saturday ride was a bit of a repeat of Friday in that it was extremely hot and our route did not offer a lot of shade. We took it fairly easy, however, and there didn't seem to be any animals (or humans) who got too distressed. Once we returned to Danny's farm on Saturday afternoon after our ride, Danny had his traditional big supper meal laid out with a lot of help from a large group of his Amish neighbors and friends. He also had some musicians on hand to provide everyone with some great bluegrass music. Unfortunately, your photographer was very tired and failed to capture any of these festivities on the camera. In fact, I pulled out and returned to Indiana on Sunday morning after breakfast, but several of the wagons were preparing to go back out and ride again on Sunday.

I hope you enjoy the photos I took of these two events.


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