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Local ‘Our Barn’ team participates in fundraising Ride to the Ride event

Posted: November 5, 2013 5:28 p.m.
Updated: November 6, 2013 5:00 a.m.

Our Barn, a Christian-based Western riding and boarding facility, is located halfway between Ridgeway and Lugoff. Lori Freeman of Ridgeway owns Our Barn and also gives riding instruction there. She and a team of riders from the area, who are also part of the Our Barn group, participated recently in an annual fundraising event called Ride to the Ride.

Ride to the Ride began Oct. 25 with the Our Barn team departing from Ridgeway and riding horseback for five days to their destination at Lakewood Campground in Myrtle Beach. Once in Myrtle Beach, the team participated in the American Heart Association (AHA)’s Jack Monroe Beach Ride 2013, which ran from Oct. 30 through Nov. 2.

Each night of the ride from Ridgeway to Myrtle Beach, the Our Barn team camped along the way, at places such as Kershaw County’s Antioch Community Center and Lee State Park in Lee County. This year, the Our Barn included Freeman, Olin Jackson, Bo Nelson, Anne Collins, Scout Styron, Benji Krenz, Cory Robinson, Stephanie de la Torriente and Lindsey Zacour.

According to www.ahabeachride.org, Jack Monroe started the Beach Ride 32 years ago as a “ride-a-thon.” Participants said Monroe was encouraged by several riding clubs to make the ride a charity event. While the first ride featured approximately 20 riders, the event now includes more than 1,200 participants each year, the website stated.

Collins, of Kershaw County and who participated in the event during the past two years, explained that each rider is required to raise $150 in donations.

“(The) AHA provides each of the riders a Web page under the ‘Our Barn’ Stable so we can solicit donations via email,” she said.

Other fundraising events hosted by Our Barn include a barbecue lunch, poker run, paper AHA hearts in memory of a loved one, donation-accepted mule wagon rides and trail rides, and a car wash set up at Tractor Supply Co. in Camden, Collins said.

For many of the riders, there is a personal reason for taking part in the event. Collins said that she rides in honor of her grandfather, “Colonel Arthur P. Thayer, who had seven heart attacks. He was slender, fit and an avid horseback rider.” Collins said she and the rest of the team feel that they “receive so many blessings by helping others.”

Collins also is very touched and inspired by the “community spirit” she sees exhibited throughout the event.

“This year there were almost 1,200 registered riders and horses,” she said. “I love the community spirit, the camaraderie and the collective focus of helping others who suffer from heart problems. I love the awareness we bring to others -- take care of your heart and health.”

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