by Monica Treidlinger
It takes a village.
In 2019, the Eastern Ontario Horses of Course Club hosted the Limerick Forest Poker Ride and raised $4,000 for local food banks. Riders also donated 46 kilograms of non-perishable food at that event. This charity ride was inspired by Audrey Rooney’s annual Fall Poker Ride from which proceeds went to Make-a-Wish.
Well, 2020 has been a special year indeed and, with COVID anxiety, the horse club was hesitant to host the ride this year. The food bank has been stretched this year trying to help many families with out-of-work parents and can always use some help. The organizing committee, a group of three intrepid horse riders, refused to throw in the towel, and went looking for a new host. They found an unlikely but totally willing partner in the Johnstown ATV Club, whose members agreed wholeheartedly not only to host, but to help out with equipment, food and volunteers.
So the Limerick Forest Pandemic Ride 2020 will occur after all, with a slightly different name. It will take place on Sunday, September 20, at The Pit, also known as Area 1 of Limerick Forest South (located at 8773 Forsythe Road, North Augusta). Although the event will look slightly different, it will offer the same safe well-marked trails, the same quality t-shirt, and a delicious smoked ham lunch hot off the BBQ.
Several local businesses have already stepped up with donations and prizes. Sabrina Tracey of Bytown Animal Chiropractic has offered an equine chiropractic treatment. Melissa Bayer has offered an equine massage from Bayer Hug Equine Therapy. Elite 3 Hemp Products has donated several bags of equine nutritional supplements. Brooks Performance Horse Feed has offered two $25 gift certificates. GT Enterprise has donated equine probiotics and electrolytes. Green Hawk has offered a horse cooler, and Elegant Equine has offered a gift certificate for a blanket cleaning or repair, and other donations and prizes are on their way.
Volunteers have already come forward. Riders have been out to trim branches from the trails and they have had help from members of the Bytown Motorcycle Association. Geoff McVey, Forest Manager at Limerick Forest and his staff have always been supportive of this event and, through the Friends of Limerick Forest, the groups that share the trails have come together to ensure that everyone is safe.
And now, all we need is good weather on September 20.