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Ride planned to pay tribute to Tom Stewart, his family and his pilot

Members of Vashon’s horse community are organizing a ride to pay tribute to Tom Stewart, an avid horseman who did much to support the Island’s equestrian community.

The ride will take place at 1 p.m. Sunday, March 7, and will start at Paradise Ridge Park. Riders are asked to wear red, white and blue.

The ride will also mark the deaths of Stewart’s family, including his wife Madena and his 5-year-old daughter Sydney, as well as Rick Morton, a former Islander and Stewart’s longtime helicopter pilot.

The procession will include riderless horses, with boots in the stirrups backwards, a cavalry tradition. A riderless pony will be led in honor of Stewart’s daughter.

Stewart, his wife and daughter, his brother-in-law and Morton perished in a helicopter crash on Feb. 14.

“What we’re trying to do is pay some respect to Tom, thank him for the trails and remember the other people, too,” said Marie Bradley, one of the organizers.

Those who would like to attend but don’t have horses can see the group off or gather at the park at 2 p.m., when refreshments will be served.

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