SHERIFF'S RIDE Saturday, 5th September 2009

Published: 28 August 2009

Simon Price, Chief Executive of local, family owned company Arthur Price Cutlery and Gifts was appointed Sheriff of Lichfield in April this year. As Sheriff he must lead the 456 year old tradition of the Sheriff's Ride on Saturday 5th September.

For what's believed to be the first time, the Sheriff will be accompanied by his Lady, wife Lesley and a procession of around 60 horses and riders.

The ride originated in 1553, when Queen Mary's Charter created the office of Sheriff of Lichfield. The Charter decreed that the Sheriff "perambulate the new County and City annually on the feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, 8th September".

Simon Price comments; "It is a great honour to have been appointed Sheriff of Lichfield and a privilege to be the 456th Sheriff to escort the ride - however I wonder if I am the first novice horseman. My wife and I had our first riding lesson 8 weeks ago, so any tips on the day will be most welcome! We're very much looking forward to it and hope to be joined by a great number of riders and supporters."

Combining the best of British tradition with a uniquely entertaining ride, the day starts with civic dignitaries gathering at the Guildhall ready to depart at 10.30am. The procession of horses follows a marked route via bridleways, private land and some road sections, before returning to the city via the Cathedral Close at about 6.15pm.

2009 also marks the 300th anniversary of Dr Samuel Johnson's birth, Lichfield's most famous son. This year's Sheriff's Ride has particular historical significance as Dr Johnson's father, Michael, participated in the ride just days before the arrival of his first son, Samuel Johnson.

Everyone is invited to cheer the procession through Lichfield's streets and competent riders aged 16 and over can participate for an entry fee of £25.