Executive Committee


H. Dan Johnston; Trail Boss

The Trail Boss presides at all meetings of the Association, Executive Committee and Board of Directors. The Trail Boss is the executive officer and a member of all committees. The Trail Boss must attend all Rodeo meetings, meet with City Officials, and attend functions in all of the towns with which the Salt Grass Trail is associated.

Dan is serving his third year as Trail Boss.  Previously, Dan has represented the Salt Grass Trail Association Executive Committee and Board of Directors for three (3) years as the Assistant Trail Boss, three (3) years as the Chuck Wagon Boss, and six (6) years as the Utility Boss under past Trail Bosses Poncho Dismukes, Milton Beckendorff, Dickey Davis and Mitch Morgan.  Since finishing law school in 1989, Dan has ridden the Salt Grass Trail Ride with Wagon 7, “The Magnificent Seven”.  Dan’s family has been a part of the Salt Grass Trail Ride tradition for decades, including his father, Hale Johnston, (1950’s), brother, Mike, (1980’s) and sister, Caroline, (1990’s).

Dan’s wife, Tammy, son, Carson, and daughter, Jamie, are also Wagon 7 members and active participants in assisting the Wagon 7 family to hit the annual trail.  Dan is a Life Member of the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo™, a member of the HLSR Grand Entry Committee (Wagons and Teams), and President of Sullins & Johnston, P.C., with offices in Houston and Liberty.  In his off time, Dan enjoys spending time managing operations at the family ranch established six generations ago in Liberty County.

Philip Fairchild

Philip Fairchild, Assistant Trail Boss

The Assistant Trail Boss assumes all the duties of the Trail Boss in the event that the Trail Boss is absent or unable to perform his duties.

Assistant Salt Grass Trail Boss Philip Fairchild has over 40 years on the Salt Grass Trail Ride. He is currently President of Wagon 17 the Brazos River Riders, and has served as that group’s Assistant Wagon Boss for 25 years. Philip was appointed to the Salt Grass Trail Ride Executive Board in 2010.

His wife, Doyleen, daughter and son-in-law Phyllis and Scott Hinze, and grandsons Hunter, Heath, and Hayes are all members of the association. Philip is a Lifetime member of the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo™. He is the President of Mark III Plant Construction and a concrete pumping company based in Sealy, TX.



Sally Hakemack, Scribe

It is the duty of the Scribe and her assistant to keep all records, arrange for all printed material, badges and buttons, and to maintain the office. This is one of the most important jobs of all.

Sally has been a member of the Salt Grass Trail Ride since 1976, when she signed up with Wagon 17, “Brazos River Riders”, while still attending high school. She rode weekends and in the parade while in college, and has made the full ride every year since 1981. The Hakemack family: Sally’s husband, Tom, their son, Travis, daughter, Anna, and grandchildren Adam, Austin, Ace, Tate, and Avery are all members of the Salt Grass Association. Sally held the Chairman of Public Relations and Special Events position from 1999- 2002 before being elected Scribe in 2003. She is employed as a Veterinary Technician with Dr. Ginanna Crouch, DVM.

Richie Horn

Richard “Richie” Horn, Utility Boss

The Utility Boss provides water at all campsites and distributes Porta-Cans along the trail route and at the campsites.

Richie Horn has ridden the Salt Grass Trail Ride since 2003 when he joined the Double M Riders (SGT Wagon 20) with his brother JJ. Richie held the position of Scout and Scout Sergeant for six years, and his wife Kat and daughter Reagan now make the ride with him. Richie and Kat own and operate a trucking company, HK Transport, out of Waller.

Laurie T

Laurie Tarver, Treasurer

The Treasurer will have custody of all monies and financial record of the Association.

Laurie began riding the Salt Grass Trail Ride in 2008 and is a member of Wagon 18.

Laurie is a graduate of Baylor University and is a licensed CPA. She is on the Board of Directors for Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo™.  Laurie currently is employed at Jacintoport International, LLC.


JJ Horn

Jeremiah “JJ” Horn, Livestock Boss

The Livestock Boss has the duty of overseeing the well-being of all the horses and mules on the entire trail ride.

Jeremiah J.”JJ” Horn has made the Salt Grass Trail Ride since 2002. He has served as Scout since [YEAR], and held the positions of Sargent and Lieutenant, and in 2017 his horse “Tick” won Best Trail Horse. JJ and his wife Misty (Morgan) Horn have three sons: Colton, Wyatt, and Jacob—all accomplished young horsemen, and members of the Salt Grass Trail and Double M riders (SGT Wagon 20). JJ owns Double J Welding, a contract pipeline welding service.

Curtis Sound Truck

Curtis Pietrowski, Chuck Wagon Boss

The Chuck Wagon Boss and his assistants shall serve at the discretion of the Trail Boss.

Curtis joined the Salt Grass Trail Ride in 1977 with the Circle S Riders and later joined the Rounders. He was the Rounders’ Wagon Boss for many years beginning in 1983; Curtis is a life time member of the Rounders Curtis participates in some way or another with every group along the ride.
Curtis is a Life Member of the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo™, and a Lifetime Committeeman on the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo Calf Scramble Committee. He is also a Lifetime Member of the Houston Farm and Ranch Club. He has founded several Charitable Events including the Spina Bifida Ride for Life, the Fort Worth Frontier Days, Pony Express Roundup for Autism, and the Ben Johnson Celebrity Team Roping and Pony Express Ride benefiting Cystic Fibrosis. December of 2008, Curtis organized a trail ride for Our Wounded Soldiers in the Brooke Army Medical Center of San Antonio, “Adopt a Hero” and delivered many of gifts to the wonder soldiers and their families.
Curtis was born in Gonzales, TX and raised around horses and livestock. Curtis knows many people along the ride, and if he doesn’t have a nickname for you, you can bet he is working on one. He wife Becky joins him along the ride and together they enjoy the camaraderie of their family and friends.
Curtis has served Salt Grass as the Sound Man and Safety Boss for several years and is honored to serve on the Executive Board with several lifelong friends.

Ronnie Havemann, Campsite Boss

The Campsite Boss has the responsibility of setting up all of the campgrounds. This has to be one of the most demanding jobs of all. He has to plan the arrangement of 400 to 500 (plus) vehicles, most with trailers and a 1/3 them motor homes, in a small amount of acreage. Also, he must maintain an information station on a 24 – hour basis.

Ronnie first rode the Salt Grass Trail as a camp cook in 1986 for the Rounders, Wagon 21. Ronnie has held many positions with the Rounders including Wagon Boss/Assistant Wagon Boss 1994 to present.  After several years of cooking, he was persuaded to mule skin for the Rounders. Over the years Ronnie has become the voice of wisdom and leadership in the Rounders camp. When his friend and fellow Houston Firefighter Robert Ater, SGT Campsite Boss since 2000, was promoted to the position of Wagon Boss, he recommended Ronnie for the position of SGT Campsite Boss. Ronnie has often helped Robert scout and mark campsites, and his many years of moving rigs along the route add to his strong qualification for the role. Ronnie looks forward to the SGT each year. His Rounder friends support him in his current roll with the SGT. Ronnie’s wife, Franny, helps him along the trail, his 2 sons, Brian & Nicholas, daughter, Amanda, stepdaughter, Lisa, 5 grandsons and 3 granddaughters are always a large part of Ronnie’s adventure.

William MoneyIt is the duty of the Route Boss to check all roads and to get permission to use these roads from the local commissions.

William Money has worn many hats during his 15 years on the Salt Grass Trail. He currently serves as Chief of Scouts and Route Boss, and is also a first-responder on the Safety Team. A Salt Grass Trail Scout for 9 years, William previously held the position of Lieutenant Scout and now Chief of Scouts, and has been a consistent contributor to the Publications Committee. William and his wife Sara own a timber and cattle business in Lovelady, Texas. They ride with the Broken Wheel Riders, SGT Wagon 16.



Conni Meyer, Chairman, Public Relations & Special Events

It is the responsibility of the Public Relations Committee to promote and publicize the best interests of the Association.

Conni proudly represents the Salt Grass Trail as the Chairman of Public Relations for her 17th year. In 1983 Conni began and continues riding the Salt Grass ride with Wagon 21, “Rounders.” She has devoted countless hours serving as the Rounders’ Secretary, Treasurer and advisor over the past 30 plus years, and is integral in that club’s preparation for the Salt Grass Trail Ride each year. Conni also rides with the Catalena Cowgirls, presenting the colors and pageantry at numerous PRCA & CPRA Rodeo and special events each year. Conni brings her son, Ryder, 20, along on the Salt Grass Trail each year where they learn horsemanship skills and enjoy the camaraderie of family and friends.


Shane Linnell, Wagon Boss

It shall be the duty of and responsibility of the Wagon Boss to have general supervision of all wagons and other vehicles, other than Chuck Wagons, when on the trail.

Shane Linnell has ridden on the Saltgrass Trail Ride since 1998 with Wagon 18, 59 Independent Trail Riders. He enjoys the fellowship of the ride and all of the friends he has made over the years. Secretly the brisk morning rides back after the morning rig move is his favorite part of the week. Shane was blessed in 2010 to be asked to bring the team (mules and people from wagon 18) to pull a wagon in the Grand Entry at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo where they have pulled the special needs wagon owned by the Rodeo. This wagon allows anyone, no matter the disability, to ride in the worlds biggest rodeo show. He has served as the Vice Chairman of Wagons and Teams for the Grand Entry Committee from 2013 thru 2015. Shane’s wife Fran can be found at his side through it all. She is the one with the beaming smile trying to feed everyone. Shane and Fran have four children and eight grandchildren. I am honored to serve a second term as the Wagon Boss and I will do my best to keep this tradition traveling down the Salt Grass Trail”.



Walt Jahnke, Information Officer

Walt has been with the Salt Grass Trail Ride since 1988, and has served as Campsite Scout since he joined the trail ride.  Walt’s wife, Myrna, also rides the Salt Grass Trail and helps out with the campsites. Walt is a life member and lifetime committeeman of the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo™ and Vice President of the Houston Farm and Ranch Club. Walt is retired and has enjoyed many years with the Salt Grass Trail working very close with the late Curtis Rose and David Smith, currently works with the Camp Site crew Robert Ater, Ronnie Havemann, John Green and Allan Maniha.





9mitch 2

Mitch Morgan; Chairman of the Executive Committee

The Chairman of the Executive Committee acts as the senior advisor to the committee. 

Mitch Morgan has been a member of the Salt Grass Trail Association since 1972. He rides with Wagon 20, “Double M Trailriders,” along with his parents, Charlie and Alice Morgan, sister, Toni, and his daughters, son, and grandchildren, making it a 5th generation wagon.Mitch began serving on the Executive Board in 2009 as Wagon Boss while continuing his position as Chief of Scouts.   His 6-year appointment was this first time in the history of the Salt Grass Trail for a Father and Son to have held the same position. He has also served as Assistant Trail Boss, Scout, Scout Sergeant, and Scout Lieutenant. In 2001, Mitch was awarded Top Trail Rider of the Salt Grass Trail.

Mitch is self-employed and runs a hot shot company, MGM Trucking, out of Hempstead, Texas. When Mitch is not working or getting ready for trailride, you can find him working with his horses or playing with his grandchildren.  He grew up around horses and has a talent for training them; he also trims and shoes his own horses. Mitch is more than grateful to his family and friends for all their love and support. He is looking forward to visiting with the SGT Riders, and having a safe and successful ride in 2017.


Milton Beckendorff; Executive Committee


Milton’s father, Gene Beckendorff, joined the Salt Grass Trail in the mid-1950s and served as Trail Boss from 1979 to 1981. Milton is proud to follow his father’s legacy as Trail Boss 2009 to 2011 for the Salt Grass Trail. This was the first time in history that a Father and son have held the title. The Beckendorff family has been a part of the ride since the mid 1950’s. Milton has been a member of the trail ride since 1957, and held the position of Wagon Boss for “Austin County,” Wagon 9 from 1998 to 2005, at which time his son Jimmy assumed the role. Milton has held the offices of Assistant Trail Boss from 2006-2008, and double duty as Treasurer 2003 to 2008. Milton’s wife ,Chris, his sons, Jimmy and Brad, along with their wives also ride with the Austin County Wagon. Milton’s son, Travis and his family assist with moving the campsite each day along the ride. The Beckendorff’s own and operate a ranch west of Houston. The Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo™ Trail Ride Committee voted the Salt Grass Trail Ride Best Trail Ride in 2009, 2010 and 2011 under Milton’s leadership as Trail Boss.


Leonard “Poncho” Dismukes; Executive Committee


Poncho was the second Trail Boss 2006-2008 elected from Brenham to lead the Salt Grass Trail into Houston. He follows in the steps of Reese Lockett from the original 1952 ride beginning in Brenham to promote the Houston Fat Stock Show and Rodeo. Poncho has been a member of the Salt Grass Trail Ride since 1979. He has made many contributions to the ride over the years. Since his first ride, he has served as Wagon Boss for the “Long Neck Riders,” Wagon 23. He held the offices of Assistant Trail Boss from 2002-05, and Utility Boss from 2000-02, and was voted Top Trail Rider for the year 1990. Poncho’s wife, Julie, sons, Chad and Cole, daughter-in-law, Amanda, and granddaughters, Audrey and Callie, they will also participate in the ride each year. Poncho drives a truck for the Texas Star Transport Inc. in Brenham. The Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo™ Trail Ride Committee voted the Salt Grass Trail Ride Best Trail Ride in 2006, 2007 and 2008 under Poncho’s leadership as Trail Boss. Poncho attributes the ride’s success to the commitment of his fellow riders, scouts, wagon bosses, assistant trail bosses, and board of directors.


David M

David P. Meador; Executive Committee


David has been a member of the Salt Grass Trail Ride since 1983. He has held many positions with the trail ride, including Assistant Wagon Boss-1996, Utility Boss 1997-98, Assistant Trail Boss 1999, Trail Boss 2000-2002, and Chairman of the Executive Committee 2003-2005. David is self-employed in Hempstead, Texas. He and wife, Janice, son, David L. Meador, and daughter, Melissa Loftin, ride with Wagon 11, “Are You Lazy Two.” David’s father in-law, Fred Chapman, brought David and his son on board with the Salt Grass Trail many years ago. Fred was one of the original riders of the Salt Grass, beginning in 1953, and passed away in June of 2002. Fred’s grandson, David’s son, David L. Meador, will continue the tradition and keep Wagon 11 rolling on the Salt Grass Trail in honor of his grandfather’s memory.


Don C. Hildebrandt; Executive Committee


Don joined the Salt Grass Trail Ride in 1964 with his uncle “Pistol.” He was elected to the executive committee in 1990 and served as Wagon Boss, Utility Boss, and Assistant Trail Boss before being elected Trail Boss for the years 1994-96. The Hildebrandt family — Don’s wife, Lanette, their daughter, Amanda, and grandson, Kaden, enjoy making the ride each year. Don is a Life Member of the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo™ and drives his wagon in the Rodeo’s Grand Entry. Don is retired from Allstate Insurance Co.

Bill Henry; Executive Committee


Bill has held the positions of Utility Boss, Assistant Trail Boss, and Trail Boss during his many years on the Salt Grass ride. He is a member of Wagon 21, “Rounders,” and is a Life Member of the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo™. Bill currently resides in Florida with his wife, Georgia, but returns to Texas each year for the Salt Grass.

Recent Posts