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Riding event centers on Ashlie Wright’s passions

By Erika Pedroza | Published Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Ashlie Wright loved riding horses, helping people, and children – especially her daughter.

Those passions will combine to commemorate the legacy of the fun-loving Paradise resident whose life was cut short by a brain clot in October 2011. She was 22.

The Save A Life: Ride A Horse playday and jackpot barrel race is Saturday at the Sheriff’s Posse arena, 579 Jerry Walker Road in Bowie.

Proceeds benefit Cook Children’s Hospital and LifeGift organ donation centers across Texas – symbolic of Ashlie’s love of children and her legacy as an organ donor.

“To see all the lives she’s impacted – 78 – is amazing,” her mother, Wendy Vann, said. “She was also a member of the American Association of Sheriff’s Posses and Riding Clubs, and she loved it. So we thought this would be a good way to promote our cause.”

The grand entry and introductions begin at 9 a.m. and will feature members of Wright’s family riding her horse. Children in need of an organ donation will be recognized, and the group will release balloons in memory of a 1-year-old from South Texas who died in the wait for a transplant.

“We want to show the good side and the flip side,” Vann said. “There’s a flip side.”

Use of the venue was donated by the AASP&RC and includes tractors, fuel and two large arenas. Playday events, which begin at 10 a.m., will be held in one arena while the barrel race goes on in the other. Events include hitch’n'go, spur, straightaway barrels and rodeo flags.

As part of the entry fee, each participant is to donate a new Teddy bear to give to patients at Cook Children’s. Additional cost per event is as follows:

  • $15 for playday;
  • $30 for jackpot barrel (youth/adult/senior); and
  • $35 for both (sidepots separate).

You can pay at the event between 8:30 and 9:30 a.m., or pre-register by calling Wendy at 817-360-1214, B.J. at 817-253-3075 or Lisa at 214-226-6641.

An additional $5,000 has been donated for the 4-D jackpot barrels, the rodeo’s main event.

There will be an equal payout among all classes.

Exhibitions are noon to 4:30 p.m. and cost $3 from noon to 4 p.m. and $4 from 4-4:30. The open event starts at 5 p.m.

Both men and women will participate in each class, and a high-point winner and runner-up will be awarded in each class.

All events will follow AASP&RC rules and age classes.

Stalls ($15 for the weekend) and spaces for RVs ($15 nightly for small lots, $20 nightly for large ones) are available on a first-come, first-served basis.

The event also includes a concession stand for breakfast, lunch and dinner; vendor stations; and silent auctions.

“Clubs all over Texas have made me cry this week,” Vann said. “Clubs from Houston, Galveston, Corpus Christi, even one from South Dakota – they’re cancelling their playdays, buckle events, jackpot rodeos to come be a part of this one. It’s amazing. Ashlie would love it.”

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