By Kierra Pixler
A reenactment of the arrival of the first herd of cattle to the Great Western Stock Yards in 1867 in Abilene, Kansas is set to start in April of 2017. The trail guides are starting in South Central, Texas and are going over 700 miles to Abilene, Kansas with over 60 horses and 150 head of longhorns, 4 chuck wagons and a lot of trucks and trailers.
G over J F Cattle Drives is looking for sponsors, volunteers, and participants.
“I guess my only words would be is that this is a dream I never knew I had, it just sort of happened and to me, that’s a God thing. I never dreamed this dream, I never knew I wanted to do this and now is 10 to 12 hours a day just myself,” said Knowlton.
The trail will begin in South Central Texas and travel over 700 miles through Texas, Oklahoma, and Kansas with the arrival in Abilene, Kansas on July 1, 2017. They will have the Chisholm Trail 17’ Texas Longhorn Auction on July 4 to celebrate the ending of a historic event.
“I do have a risk management plan for inclement weather, which will take care of it and the route that we are going we will probably only go 10 to 12 miles per day which is really not very much and it will be probably 6 to 8 hours once we get going,” Knowlton said. “Now if it’s just rain then we will get wet, but if there is lightning within 10 miles we will get all the people to safety. I will stay with the cattle and there are several other people that have already said they would stay with the cattle.”
The livestock will be well taken care of during the livestock movement, as the health of the animals is one of the primary focuses of the trail.
“We will have a stock trailer that will go behind the herd every inch of the way that if there is anything that limps one time, if it gets sore or anything they will immediately be loaded onto that trailer, they will be taken to the next camp, kept in a pen and they will not go back onto the drive until they are sound,” Knowlton said.
The horses that will be used for the livestock movement will be alternated daily.
“Everyone is required to bring at least two horses so that they don’t ride the same horse every day,” Knowlton said. “We plan to have vets check everything in along with all of the health papers. They will all be checked by vets prior to the trail ride and the vet students will go with us the entire way. We will have both the vet students and the experienced cowboys with us the whole time.”
If you are interested in volunteering any services or participating please refer to the facebook page The Texas Longhorn Cattle Drive/Chisholm Trail ‘17 to contact the foreman in your area or call Fontella Knowlton at 817-771-9790 or BJ Stone at 254-383-3521.