Trail Riding: Jay Talks about the 4-J Horse Camp

Trail Riding: Jay Talks about the 4-J Horse Camp

Please subscribe. Thank you for watching! Jay: Well what do you want to talk about? Narrator: Well Jay, why don’t you tell me
about uh, 4-J and when this whole camp got started and maybe a little bit about how it
got started.. and how you got involved. Jay: My name is Jay Laughlin I’m the oldest
of the 4 J’s.. there’s 4 brothers Jay, Jimmy, Joey and Jeff. We’ve all been raised on a farm riding horses
raising cattle. My family and some other people started this
ride down at Van Buren, Missouri in 1968. And uh, we were down there for a few years
and we had an old farm over the hill over here that was a, just settin’ there. We were using it to run cattle on it and stuff. And we had some friends look at it and they
said, well that’s where you need to have your trail ride. And so we moved it over there in ’72, built
a campground and dining hall, and we were there till 2001 and then in 2002, in the fall
of 2002 we built this campground. And we moved in over here. It’s just a mile from here to the old campground. Narrator: And does the trail go back and see
some of the old.. parts of it? Jay: Oh yea. The old campground is still settin’ over there
all that’s left is a concrete slab and you can’t… our government has control over it so it’s
growed up with brush. It don’t even look like the same place, but
uh, alot of memories down there on the river, we ride the same trail system as we’ve ridden
for well, since 1972. Narrator: Now this year, I heard the camp
sold out. How many different people from around the
country are represented here? Jay: We have, a, our rides will vary from
oh, 150 people to 350 people. And uh, I think the most states we ever had
represented on a ride was 18, but then that’s usually when we figure on Sunday night. But I think I figured up here yesterday that
we’re over 20 states on this ride. No kidding? As far as California, Washington, alot of
the local states Oklahoma, Illinois, Kansas you know we get alot of people from that area. And uh, but we’ve got them from everywhere.. Narrator: Now what kind of riders do you guys
accommodate? I mean, can it be all styles… do you have
to be on a horse for ever and ever to be able to ride these trails? Jay: To be honest, we get alot of people that
just come down here to eat? Laughs.. My mom runs the kitchen back there, but, our
trails, you can have everything from an intermediate ride you know a beginner ride around the bottom
in the field, or we can get rough and go up over one of these bluffs, you know? And a, we’ve got all kinds of trails, you
know everybody accuses me of being a little bit fast, a little bit rough, cause that’s
the way I like to ride, and a, but you know I don’t ride that fast but we cover alot of ground and we go see
alot of things. Our trail system was set up, we had organized
rides for a long time. And people would come in, and we would ride
all day or a half day, so we set up our trail system so we could get to a certain spot at
a certain time, and have a truck meet us there to feed us lunch. And that’s how it all got started. Since we don’t do those rides like that anymore,
we’re not really organized rides; we just ride and it’s an open camp and we’re surrounded
by Mark Twain National Forest And we provide the campground, the stalls
the food and they come in and ride. Narrator: Yea, and I noticed you said your
ma, she’s in the kitchen with some more of your family? Jay: My brother Joey is helping her back there
some this week and he also rides. Me and him both ride every day. Anybody that wants to go with us we just,
we’re out having a good time, and a, if friends wanna go with us they can go. I like how well organized it is too. Every day you post the daily schedule every
day…what the chow times are and… what the campers can expect.. when the sewage
is coming when the feed is coming… Jay: Yea. We try to keep them informed. We have events that happen throughout the
week that are necessary to have a campground, but then we have fun events. Last night we had a band at night, we usually
do that a couple night a week and we have dancing. We have, a, on Sunday we had a little horse
show. A fun show. And we had about 25 or 30 people down there
with horse and we have gaming events and pleasure classes. Something for everybody. And during the summer with the kids, the horse
show is a big thing cause you know little kids like to come to the horse show, and most
of them don’t do that at home.. And then we do that on Sunday and then on
Monday and Tuesday we have a band. And then on Wednesday night we have a little
tack sale which is tonight. And we’ll sell our tack out of our tack store. And then on Thursday, we don’t have alot going
on, but Thursday evening we have a birthday and anniversary party. Anybody that’s go a birthday or anniversary
this month signs up on our sheet. My ma makes a great big cake. And she decorates the cake and puts everyone’s
name on it. And we have cake and ice cream and when we
get done we have bingo. Easy country fun.. Kind of winding it down after all the bands
earlier in the week.. Also other rides, a, just like, this last
ride we had a big group from Indianapolis here and we did a benefit for a bunch of kids
that are out in Arizona, in Phoenix Arizona. They send them to a dude ranch camp kind of
deal, and for a week, and a, I think they said it cost 150 dollars to send one of the
kids and the dude ranch partnered with them a group called Wild Bunch. And they split it 50/50. And so 75 and 75 out of each group. And we had a little benefit deal, and country
music singer Chris Janson who is out big right now. He has some big hits and is doing real well. He was raised down here as a kid. And they lived in south Missouri, and his
mom and dad still come in here every year. At least once or twice, and they ride with
us. Chris hadn’t been down for a few years, but
he’s busy with his career, and gettin’ things going. But he donated some items and other people
at camp donated items and when we got done we raised 8,000 dollars for this benefit. In about an hour. We had a guitar that brought 1350 dollars
signed by him, and you know, he’s just startin’ out but if he makes it big, some of that stuff
they got will be worth alot of money, you know? The community really came together quickly
on that one.. Oh man, the people down here didn’t even know
about it till it happened that day. You know, and I mean, we had it last year
and before, but those are kinda just some of the things we do. And we got done having the auction and we
turned around and had a cornhole tournament. Everybody played cornhole and everybody threw
in 5 dollars in the hat and, a, I didn’t allow teams to enter, everybody enters
individually and we draw them out and that way its a social event you get to play with
someone different. Every ride we mix it up. We’ll have something different. Like Chuck says he’s been down 3 or 4 times
this year and a, we had something different, every ride has different dynamics to it. We have 6, seven day rides, or a, six, 6 day
rides. If you move the camp… Laughs.. We tried that once. But no, we have alot, like I say alot of fun
and there’s always something goin’ on. Being raised down here with all these people,
I tell them all the time it started off as a group of family and friends gettin’ together
and having a good time. And I look around and see all my friends and
see all the people that are here, and it’s still a family and friends gettin’ together
and having a good time. And that’s what makes it fun. You know I’ve got 4 kids, and they are all
named J. And a, I got Joel, Jason, Jordan and Jesse and I gotta granddaughter named
Jentry. I’m hopin’ Jentry gets to be raised just like
my kids were, you know? It’s a great place to grow up. Narrator: Well, listen Jay, I appreciate it. That was alot of excellent information and.. If people want to learn more maybe about how they can get a reservation or… Jay: We have a website I think is how it’s set up. It’s got our calendar, our schedule, like next year we’re going to have a mule ride. We’re going to have it in cooperation with our trail ride with our camp. We gotta alot of people coming in that are riding horses, but they are talking that we could have 300 people here. That will be pretty cool and impressive. The mule people they like to get out and ride. I’m sure there will be some on a beginner ride. Please subscribe.

3 thoughts on “Trail Riding: Jay Talks about the 4-J Horse Camp

  1. Great video!!! It was a pleasure to meet you folks at 4-J this year – make sure you come back again next year!

  2. Always so much fun at 4-J. Thanks to Jay and the whole Laughlin clan for making this ride so special every year. Thanks to BioThane and SpecTACKular tack for capturing some of the fun on this video.

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