“Giddy Up Horsey” – “Get Going Mule”; these were some of the sounds expressed along the Trail on July 20-21. Forty-five riders on horseback, mules and wagons traversed a route from Sourisford to Winlaw following as close as possible to the Boundary Commission Trail.
Trail Boss, Neale Daniels, and nine other participants were also on the 125 March West twenty years ago. Ninety-two years of age separated the oldest rider, Jack Shannon (96) and the youngest rider, Drayson Elliott (4). The Shannon family had 4 generations on the ride. Kaelynn Mayes (age 6) was the youngest participant to ride all the way.
The Pierson and Area Heritage Committee chose this weekend for the trail ride as it was on these date that the original Mounties March West camped at Sourisford in 1874. The weather couldn’t have been better for this year’s ride. The mosquitos didn’t pose a problem unlike the original ride.
Three international riders, two from North Dakota and one from Georgia were among this year’s riders. Many of the riders were youngsters. Jim Lee deserves a lot of credit for bringing 5 granddaughters on the ride. Just about everyone expressed they thought they gained weight on the ride with awesome meals prepared by the caterers – The Heritage Restaurant, the Eunola School Committee and the Winlaw Community Committee.
The trail ride couldn’t have been possible without numerous volunteers and donators – the use of Sourisford Park, the traffic controllers at the highway crossings, the water and hay for the horses, the portable toilet, the P.A. system, the pasture for the overnight stay, the transporters who moved the truck and trailers.
Riders, horses and mules all experienced sore muscles and tired bodies as it is hard to find the time to prepare for an event like this. But in the end, it was an exhilarating experience that will be talked about for years to come. Hopefully it won’t take another 20 years for the next ride.