Trail Ride honors life of local teen

Published 2:25 pm Saturday, September 26, 2009

COFIELD – If Keith Irvin Cotton was alive, he would perhaps be the first to sign-up for a Trail Ride scheduled for here Oct. 10.

Instead, the event will be held to honor this 18-year-old Tunis teen whose life was tragically cut short during a farming accident earlier this month.

In an effort to assist the Cotton family, a local group has organized a benefit Trail Ride. Participants are encouraged to come out and enjoy the breath-taking scenery and abundant wildlife in the Cedar Hill Landing area of Hertford County – located on the Wiccacon River near its mouth at the Chowan River.

The Trail Ride is scheduled to get underway at 9 a.m. It will cover approximately 20 miles.

There is a $25 donation per rider. That donation entitles the rider to a full dinner, complete with dessert, and music from DJ Randy Drewette. The following morning (Sunday, Oct. 11) there will be a raffle for horse-related items plus a short trail ride.

A Negative Coggins test – used to protect horses from Equine Infectious Anemia exposure – is required. Shoes are recommended.

Donations are also being solicited from anyone wanting to help the Cotton family.

To register for the Trail Ride, receive directions to Cedar Landing or to make a donation, contact Sharon Garris (252-585-0277), JoAnn Bazemore (252-356-4289) or send an e-mail to

Cotton died Sept. 2 while harvesting tobacco in a field located near Harrellsville.

“Apparently, some of the tobacco became lodged or jammed in a motorized harvester the young man was operating,” Hertford County Sheriff Juan Vaughan said. “The young man then stopped the forward progress of the harvester and exited the driver’s seat in an effort to dislodge the tobacco. Apparently his shirt got caught on some sort of moving part and it pulled the young man into the machinery, resulting in an injury which caused his death.”