At 73 years old, Larry Wilson has spent 68 years of on horseback. He started riding at five years old and hasn’t been without a horse since. His first four hooved friend was a pony he bid on himself at a local live stock market. From there his love grew to training horses, trail riding, barrel racing, pleasure showing, and fast pace showing. During the 2022 show season at Central WV Riding Club he earned two high point trophies. These trophies just add to the other awards he has collected over the years.
His trail riding endeavors have taken him through West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Kentucky, Virginia, and Missouri. This year is the first year in twenty-six years that he didn’t travel to Missouri for the annual Cross-Country Trail Ride in Eminence.
Over the years he has been a member of the Hilltop Riding Club, the West Fork Riding Club, the Bluegrass Riding Club, and is currently a member of the Central WV Riding Club and Little Kanawha Trail Riders Club. Along with single show awards and high point awards, he captured a state championship in fast pace twice and a reserve state championship twice.
The love of horses is certainly a family tradition. Growing up his entire family participated in trail rides and shows. He and his friends would travel across the hills on horseback rather than atv’s as kids do now. This was their opportunity to have independence as well as entertainment. Continuing the family tradition, he and his daughter, Lorrie Wilson-Smith, have been riding together since she was five years old.
Caring for horses isn’t as easy as it used to be for Larry but it sure is worth being able to spend time with those that he has met over the years. His love of the sport has lead him to lifelong friends and connections. He may not always agree with the judges’ decisions in the ring, but he will agree that just being in the ring and enjoying the ride is reason enough to keep working hard. Here’s to many more years of riding with family and friends!