Local horse enthusiasts gathered at the Coalmont Hotel, on the evening of April 9 to discuss the possibility of starting a Chapter of the Back Country Horsemen of BC, in the Princeton/Tulameen Area. Instrumental in pulling the group together was Jim McRae, a man with vast experience with horses and mules and packing into the back country. McRae is the founder of the original Chapter of BCHBC in the Fraser Valley in 1989 and former president of Horse Council BC. His accomplishments in the area of trails establishment and restoration of historic trails are enormous.
Another important figure at the meeting was Kelley Cook, our tireless local historian and trails expert. Kelley has been a huge motivator in this area in the protection and restoration of historic trails into the back country.
The meeting was attended by more than 20 people from a variety of equine related backgrounds including: ranchers and rural property owners, several horse trainers and riding coaches, a farrier, barefoot trimmers, boarding facility owner, horse packers, trail ride operators, a former 4 H leader, camp cook and first aid attendant. The passion for riding into the back country was apparent.
Requirement to start a Chapter of BCHBC in this area is all about people. Needed are five officers to perform the organized tasks of the society. There are three people stepping up to fill positions and confidence has been expressed in the ability to fill the other two.
Plans are underway for a work party to begin clearing an overgrown section of existing trail. A packing clinic date has been set with the goal of introducing the gear and skills required to prepare an animal (be it horse or mule) to carry supplies into the back country safely.
Anyone interested in joining this fledgling group please contact Chris Coomes, in Tulameen, at 250-295-6197 or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org