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Joyriders to celebrate four decades of therapeutic horseback riding in P.E.I.

Janice Cole, volunteer and past-president, Justin MacEwen, rider, and instructor Gilles Richard share a moment with Whinny, the mechanical horse. It is used, along with the live horses and ponies, in the Joyriders’ program.
Janice Cole, volunteer and past-president, Justin MacEwen, rider, and instructor Gilles Richard share a moment with Whinny, the mechanical horse. It is used, along with the live horses and ponies, in the Joyriders’ program. - Contributed
HUNTER RIVER, P.E.I. —

The Joyriders Therapeutic Riding Association is inviting the public out to Hunter River to help share in the group’s 40th anniversary.

The River Trails Ranch in Hunter River, owned by John and chief instructor Kathryn Barrett, will hold the celebration on Saturday, June 29, from 10 a.m. to noon.

There will be riding demonstrations at 10:30 a.m. and 11:15 a.m. The public will get to see how mounted therapy works. The Parkdale-Sherwood Lions Club will be providing a barbecue at the nearby Hunter River Community Centre (civic number 19816, Route 2) at noon. All are welcome for hot dogs, hamburgers and birthday cake.

Lt.-Gov. Antoinette Perry will arrive just after 10 a.m. to bring greetings and hand out anniversary medals to riders. Premier Dennis King will also attend.

For past riders and volunteers, this will be a chance to get reacquainted and see how the organization has grown during the last four decades. Visitors are welcome to watch the riders and learn about therapeutic riding.

The Joyriders’ ranch was co-founded in 1979 by Daphne Davey and Anita Morrison. The mission of the group is the enhancement of the physical, emotional and social well-being of children and adults with disabilities through various forms of therapeutic riding.

Joyriders is a volunteer organization. The certified and highly-trained instructors receive a modest honoraria, but there is no paid staff. The group also does not receive government funding and is entirely supported by donors such as United Way, Easter Seals and the Parkdale-Sherwood Lions Club as well as other Lions Clubs, rotary clubs and a variety of foundations and individuals. 

Joyriders usually holds a major fundraising event at Gingerwood, the home of Danny and Martie Murphy, every two years.

River Trails Ranch is located on Route 2 (civic number 19617), just east of Hunter River. Look for the big Joyriders sign on the riding arena.

This event will go ahead rain or shine.


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