Thursday, 09 August 2012 17:01

Following the Wild Pink Horse horse trail though southeast AB

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In 2006, Lamont, Alta. native Jane Hurl was diagnosed with breast cancer.

In talking to Hurl, it’s not much of a secret: she’s a fighter and one who would work extremely hard to get better.
A horse fanatic, she came up with the idea of a group of riders of various ages to go on the ultimate wagontrail ride through Alberta. Thus, the Wild Pink Yonder Society was formed.
Starting this weekend there will riders and horse-pulled covered wagons which will depart from Elkwater and head into Edmonton for a wind-up celebration. They will go on trails and make their way collecting pledges as they go. This will be the fourth such trek. For Hurl, it
“I just decided to do something and this is what I wanted to do ... I’m a horse nut, thought doing something like this was different and it would be an epic ride. To the best of my knowledge, nothing like this is done in Canada,” explained Hurl who enlisted the help of her son Rusty who left his own job in order to make the event work. “Every year, we have gone a different route. We just spend hours pouring over a map.
“My thought was this year, the east side of the province gets left out of a lot of things. We’re going to change that.”
Hurl said she and Rusty go to these different communities and visit the town councils to see what the town is willing to do and whether they will get co-operation with the event as far as traversing across land, etc. This year, it’s billed as “23 days, 345 miles and 24 stops to raise money for breast cancer research.”
The riders or wagon trail riders have to pay or raise $200 per day in pledges in order to participate.
Hurl noted there are different levels of participation for donating. One can sponsor a rider: ( SponsorRider.html) or make a donation to the Alberta Cancer Foundation ( Yonder2012).
Donations are also generated through different events in the host communities participating or through the Pinkest Little Town contest where organizers judge who showed the most spirit towards them.
 Her favourite story involved a store owner from Innisfail who thought his business was going to vacate his location for another. So, as a fundraiser, people could buy a paint roller with some old paint which had been leftover, mismatched and mixed together— all of it was some shade of pink.
People paid $10 to paint the store in their shade of pink. The building was then painted in many different rosy hues.
Funny thing though, the company delayed the move and the store now had a new, interesting paint job.
“It was definitely in the ‘some strange feats of pinkness,’” said Hurl with a chuckle. “It’s all gratifying.”
In 2009, the Wild Pink Yonder Society donated $55,650 to breast cancer research and in 2010 they donated $75,112 to the Alberta Cancer Foundation. Last year $177,000 was donated.
The 4th Annual Wild Pink Yonder hits the dusty trail starting Aug. 11. but the fun begins Aug. 10.
Here’s the itinerary for southeast Alberta:
• Aug. 10 — Medicine Hat - Fandango. This is Wild Pink Fandango night. Expect a little bit of music, a little bit of food and a little bit of beer. Party is at Ralph’s Texas Bar, 1249 TransCanada Way S.E. Kick-off is 6 p.m. Staying at a local stables.
• Aug. 11 — ride in Cypress Hills. Trailer past Elkwater to the area called “The Old Ranger Station.” Ride with Cypress Hills conservation officer O’Brien Tarnasky. Spend the night at The Old Ranger Station.
• Aug. 12 — riding the Cypress Hills again. Spending the night at “The Old Rangers Station” again.   
• Aug. 13 — spend the night at P Bar 3 Charolais Ranch. Trailer from Cypress Hills to P Bar 3. Ride to Cavan Lake for lunch and then back to the ranch for the night. Day ride: Go to a piece of Eastern Irrigation District land.   
• Aug. 14 — spend the night in Tilley. Trailer to (nearly) Kinbrook Provincial Park and ride 18 km to Tilley. There will be a fundraising dinner and live entertainment. Then go 14 km to Patricia.   
• Aug. 15 — spend the night in Patricia. A relaxing evening around the campfire (if allowed to have one). Dinner will be home made by Savala Rose. A relaxing evening around the campfire.
• Aug. 16 — spend the night in Brooks. Staying the night at Silver Sage. Then head off to Bassano to ride along the canal road before staying the night Aug. 17.

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Ryan Dahlman

Managing Editor

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