Archive for April 2011
By Jacob Bembry
Greene Publishing, Inc.
C.B. Knight, 81, of Madison, was the oldest participant in the Florida Cracker Trail Ride, which began in Tampa and ended in Ft. Pierce.
Knight, whose family owned a ranch in Alachua County at the beginning of the 20th century, said that he loves history and the trail ride helps preserve the history.
Local historian Joe Akerman, the author of The Florida Cowman, said, “As far as Florida is concerned, the first cattle drives would be identified with the early Spanish. While the first domesticated cattle brought to what is now the United States were brought to Florida in 1521 by Ponce de Leon, it would not be until the 1600’s that cattle production would become an important industry in Spanish Florida. By 1618, Florida Spanish governors were attempting to expand the fledgling industry.”
Knight and the other trail riders camped out at the Ashton Ranch in Lorida, the Bass Ranch in Basinger and the Adams Ranch in St. Lucie County. They also participated in the Cracker Days Festival in Ft, Pierce and visited Cracker Trail Elementary School in Highlands County.
Knight also was the oldest participant in the St. Jude Children’s Hospital Trail Ride held at the Twin Rivers State Forest Ellaville tract on Saturday, April 9. Riding alongside him, in the Sheriff’s Posse, which he and Fred Respress started, were his grandsons, Jason and Jeremy Kinsey.
Knight will be riding with the Sheriff’s Posse again on Saturday during Down Home Days.