Ride for the Brand

Jason Hommes | Staff Writer

Volunteer Madison Van Tilburg guides Jake Van’t Hul around the horse arena at the fairgrounds.

A small group gathered at the Lyon County Fairgrounds Thursday evening, May 31, for a special event. It was the third year of an event known as “Ride For The Brand,” which is all about giving special needs kids the opportunity to go horseback riding. The event has been organized by Deb Mowry for each of the last three years, and each year she’s assisted by a number of volunteers.

Mowry explained that she patterned the event after the program her brother-in-law does in Owatonna, Minnesota. “It’s a fun thing for kids with special needs or disabilities and it provides an opportunity to get them acquainted with a horse so they can do regular activities just like any other kid,” said Mowry.

She stressed that the event wouldn’t be possible without volunteers and thanked Willie and Glo Van Roekel and their daughter Taylor for bringing their horses to the fairgrounds so kids from around the area could ride them. “This event doesn’t cost anything. No one here is getting paid. We’re here because we like horses and we like spending time with these kids,” added Mowry. “I just enjoy watching them ride. I’ve loved horses for my entire life, and I’m glad we’re able to pass on the opportunity to ride horses and be around horses to kids that probably wouldn’t have those kinds of opportunities otherwise.”

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