The Borderland Quarter Horse Association will be giving back to the community once again this summer.
The organization will host its fifth-annual “Charity Walk-Trot Class” on Sunday, Aug. 9 on the Emo fairgrounds—a laid-back event for inexperienced riders to show horses but also an opportunity to donate to a local cause.
BQHA president Kayla Caul-Chartier said the event started out with the hope of getting parents of experienced riders into the show ring.
“One of our good friends said to us, ‘Well, I’ll ride if it’s for charity’ and that’s how we kind of started,” she recalled.
“It’s meant to be less intimidating and to encourage participation,” Caul-Chartier explained.
“So the first year we drew quite a large interest.
“It went over really well and people pledged themselves, so we just continued with it ever since,” she added.
In past years, supported charities included Tamarack House in Thunder Bay, Rainycrest Palliative Care, and the Fort Frances Community Chest.
This year, organizers have chosen the Community Chest for the third time.
“[The] Community Chest helps individuals all throughout the Rainy River District in various ways, and it’s also helped out people we have known in one way or another,” noted BQHA vice-president Leanne Spry.
“Last year it helped out my family when my son was born five weeks early,” she said.
“They helped us out when we went to Winnipeg in the NICU.
“So it’s really nice to give back to somebody that’s helped a member in our club personally.”
Linda Hamilton, with the Community Chest, said she’s grateful the BQHA has chosen to support the charity once again.
“I’m always very appreciative when someone chooses this charity … and the more small groups help us, then we have a bigger pot to help everybody,” Hamilton reasoned.
“I’m very appreciative of them [BQHA] stepping up,” she added. “They’ve been wonderful.”
Hamilton said the charity gives roughly $30,000-$40,000 to people in need across the district each year, so it needs to replace those funds.
“It goes to a really good cause and we’re a very small group, so it’s absolutely necessary for organizations and other people to step forward and fundraise for us,” she stressed.
“Otherwise, we’d be trying to do it all by ourselves and it would be impossible.”
Although the event is more recreational than competitive, contestants still are graded by a professional judge.
“It’s actually an American Quarter Horse Association judge and they will watch you show your horse,” Caul-Chartier noted.
“We fly them in most times from the States but we have had Canadian judges, too.”
Organizers expect six-12 entrants for the charity show, but anyone is welcome to participate.
“If you want to sign up ahead of time, you just have to find a horse to bring,” Caul-Chartier said.
“It doesn’t have to be a quarter horse,” she stressed. “It can be a horse you have at home.
“It can be a friend’s horse and you just enter the class.
“It’s a minimum of $10 to enter and you can also collect pledges,” she added.
For pledge forms, contact Caul-Chartier at 271-3111.
Those who only wish to donate to the cause can contact BQHA treasurer Mildred Beck at 486-1205.