Close to 100 riders hit the trail at Circle Square Ranch on the weekend, raising money in a ridealong to support the ranch’s horse programs.
The ranch’s office administrator, Roberta Christianson, said the weather was perfect for the annual fundraiser, held Sunday, Sept. 14.
“You can’t ask for a better day than this,” she said.
The event is held each fall at the ranch, located northeast of Halkirk. This year’s event attracted 90 riders and raised just over $17,000.
“All the money that’s raised in this goes right back into our horse program,” said Christianson, explaining that the funds are used to purchase horses, feed, saddles and other equipment.
The riders who register are expected to find sponsors to support their ride. Christianson said riders are asked to raise a minimum of $100, and some of them raise much, much more.
The group departed around 1 p.m., heading out on a trail, about six miles in total, that winds through the coulees on the ranch property.
Christianson said about 40 of the riders brought in their own horses, while the rest used the ranch’s horses.
The group ranged from riders as young as six to several in their 70s, including Phil Doan, who donated the property on which Circle Square Ranch was established in 1978.
The riders were expected to return to the camp roughly four hours later for a supper together and the award ceremony. Prizes were awarded for the most money raised, furthest distance traveled to attend, and the oldest and youngest riders.
“We do have a tough luck award just in case somebody has a wreck,” said Christianson.
This past summer, the ranch welcomed over 1,000 kids, while 850 students attended the ranch in the spring through school groups.
Christianson said the ranch is booked each weekend through the end of October for church retreats, school groups and the like, while a 4-H winter camp is scheduled to take place in February.
Circle Square Ranch is part of a network of nine camps across the country operated by InterVarsity Christian Fellowship of Canada. For more information, visit www.halkirkcirclesquare.ca.