MOSCOW, IDAHO — The Appaloosa Horse Club (ApHC) has made the difficult decision to cancel the 2020 Chief Joseph Trail Ride, set to take place August 3 – 7, 2020. This would have been the 56th consecutive year the historical event has been held.
Due to COVID-19, the United States Forest Service (USFS) is unable to issue recreational permits, hindering the ability for ApHC trail leaders to access trails and establish a ride route. Trail maintenance has also been halted for the time being which would support a safe ride for members, organizers, and their Appaloosas.
“As a Board, this was one of the most difficult decisions we’ve ever had to make,” said ApHC President Ken Johnson. “But our hands were tied by circumstances out of control. That said, I’m confident that the historic Chief Joseph Trail Ride will be back next year better than ever, with even greater participation.”
The uncertainty of this situation and lack of a set timeline for when USFS operations will return to normal have required the ApHC to make this decision. In order for the Appaloosa Horse Club to successfully hold a safe and enjoyable ride, the time for proper preparation is not feasible this year.
While the situation is unfortunate, the Appaloosa Horse Club and its leaders encourage Chief Joseph riders and participants to look forward to next year when this special tradition can be continued. The fourth leg of the Chief Joseph Trail Ride over Lolo pass will now be ridden in 2021. Meanwhile, ApHC encourages members to spend quality time with their Appaloosa and consider enrolling in the Saddle Log program where awards are earned for their time spent in the saddle.
For additional information on the Chief Joseph Trail Ride and further updates that become available in the following months, please visit https://www.appaloosa.com/trail/ChiefJoseph.htm.