Vidalia to have trail ride for children’s shelter

Published 12:00 am Sunday, May 17, 2009

NATCHEZ — Don’t be alarmed if you see a line of horses marching down the levee on the Vidalia side of the Mississippi River in a few weeks.

They’re just raising money for some local charities.

The first annual horse and wagon trail ride to benefit the Sunshine Children’s Center and Kyle’s House will be May 29-30 at Riverview RV Resort in Vidalia.

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Vidalia mayor Hyram Copeland will be the trail boss for the event, which will have two trail rides, a Saturday night party and Sunday morning cowboy church.

But non-riders can get involved as well.

“We’re going to camp out at the back of Riverview, and our Saturday trail ride will begin there,” event coordinator Cynthia Parker Brumfield said. “We will ride in front of the visitors’ center, all the way down parallel to Carter Street, and then we’ll ride the levee to cross over Carter Street and ride the industrial road back to the campground.”

Brumfield encouraged the community to come out and watch the horses and wagons roll through town.

They are also invited to the Cochon de Lait (pig roast) and party Saturday night and to an outdoor cowboy church led by David Carter and the wild mustang he tamed, Silverado, on Sunday morning.

Then the riders will hit the trail again, heading south down the levee for a 10-mile ride.

“This year we’re planning on 300 people (in attendance),” Brumfield said. “It’s one of those things where the first time you do it is the key to its success. But we’ll be riding on the river, and that’s kind of special.”

The river was also the cause for some last-minute concern.

The trail ride was originally to be on Glassclock Island north of Deer Park, La., but the steadily rising water made that location unusable.

But Brumfield said the move may have been a blessing in disguise.

“Sometimes things happen for a reason, and this has all just come together so well,” she said. “We knew it could be a concern, but we’re excited about the change in location. Now non-riders will get to see what it’s all about.”

The Sunshine Children’s Center is a shelter for abused children, and Kyle’s House is a daycare for children with special needs. Both are located in Natchez and serve 12 local counties.

Riders pay $25 for the full event, and children ages 6 to 12 pay $15.

For those who want to attend the Saturday night festivities, which start at 7 p.m., the cost is $25 per adult and $40 per couple. Cowboy church is free.

Riders may arrive starting at 2 p.m. Friday. The Saturday trail ride starts at 9:30 a.m. and church is at 9 a.m. Sunday.

Brumfield said riders are welcome to get sponsorships from individuals or businesses, and any donations will be accepted.

“I hope by Saturday morning I’ll start panicking and saying we need more food for that night,” Brumfield said. “I would really like to encourage non-riders to come out and support us as well, because it’s just a good thing for the Miss-Lou.”