Liz Sahlstrom, left, waves while riding alongside Cecil Mercer at the head of the Silver Spurs Riding Club’s annual Toy Ride in Parksville last year. This year’s edition of the event is taking place Sunday, Nov. 19. — File Photo

Parksville toy ride rescheduled

Horses and riders collecting toys for SOS Toy Fund on Nov. 25

The Silver Spur Riding Club’s annual Equestrian Christmas Toy Ride has been rescheduled for Saturday, Nov. 25.

The toy ride will follow the same route and time.

Original story:

Equestrians are getting their boots out, and them boots are made for riding.

And collecting toys.

The Silver Spur Riding Club’s annual Equestrian Christmas Toy Ride will be taking place Nov. 25.

Riders will be heading out from the Ballenas Secondary School parking lot at 12:10 p.m. and travelling through Parksville to collect unwrapped toys from spectators. They will then deliver the donations to the Society of Organized Services (SOS) for its Toy Fund.

The fund distributes the gifts to local families in need.

With a history of more than 25 years, the ride has included up to 40 riders in past years, and has attracted several hundred spectators. Carol Wolver, ride co-ordinator of the past eight years, said she’s hoping for 40 riders in this year’s event.

The riders, many of them dressed up in festive attire, will collect toys from the crowd in their saddlebags or in the ride’s tractor-pulled wagon.

“It’s just great to have the horses out, and people love seeing them up and down the street,” said Wolver.

“Especially when we go over to Stanford Place with all the seniors there.

“They donate a lot of gifts for us to give to the SOS and they are just thrilled.

“The elderly people often have grown up with horses in their life, and they are just thrilled to see all the horses decorated in some Christmas colours. That’s kind of heartwarming.”

After leaving Ballenas at 12:10 p.m., the riders head east on Morison Avenue, then right on McMillan and continue to SOS.

Once the toys have been delivered, riders are treated to lunch provided by Thrifty Foods.

The riders then follow the wagon to Stanford Place Care Centre via McMillan Street, Jensen Avenue and Craig Street to bring some cheer to residents and pick up more donations.

Any riders interested in participating in the event, or anyone hoping to get more information can contact Wolver at 250-951-1827.

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