He’s our winner in the fundraising by riders contest. He outgunned the other riders by well over a thousand dollars. He had the minimum he needed to Longride by the time Fandango came around, but he didn’t stop fundraising then. It seems that in every town we visited, Hughie knew someone. Either he phoned them or they simply showed up … and every one of them donated something.
Hughie is also the oldest Longrider we’ve ever had. He’s 76 years young, and I do mean young! That man outworked a lot of whippersnappers half his age! He was always ready with a helping hand. He has the cutest little sense of humour … and he rides that big Tennessee Walking Horse like the pro he is. (It’s a lot of horse … but it’s not as much horse as Hughie is rider!) If I ever thought I might be getting too old for this job, Hughie has convinced me that I’ve got a lot of productive years left!
Hughie had his choice of prizes for being the top earner, and he’s chosen the propane barbecue. I’ll deliver it next time we get together.
I don’t know if anyone got a picture of it, but one day when it was hot, I nearly peed my pants. There was Hughie on his horse … making a fashion statement in his plaid Bermuda shorts, sandals, long grey wool socks (like you would) … and his chaps! *grin* Oh, yeah … and his battered up leather cowboy hat.
Every night, while the rest of us made ourselves comfortable in our motorhomes, LQ trailers and such, Hughie would set up his cot … in his stock trailer. It was comfortable enough for him (though not for his wife, who was going to come along until she learned she’d be sleeping in “that smelly old stock trailer”).
Our Hughie is a character without even realizing it. More than just a character, he’s an endearing character … and I think I’ve got him interested in riding again next summer. I know for certain that all the women who rode this year will cheer when they read this. I think the men will as well. And I know that Hughie’s benefactor in Lloydminster (the one who donated $550 to get Hughie up to minimum for Longriding) is ready and willing to sponsor him again. Our Hughie is that popular.