Cancer-fighting ride wraps up
Riders approach Sherwood Park on the last day of their journey. Jessica Earle, ctvedmonton.ca
They saddled up for a journey in the name of finding a cure for breast cancer and now, after a 22-day trek, they’re sharing stories of adventure in Sherwood Park.
About a dozen riders taking part in the second annual Wild Pink Yonder Trail for a Cure rode into the Edmonton Equine Centre Saturday afternoon. While some participants only took on certain legs of the journey, five women trekked the full 500-kilometre trail from Waterton Lakes National Park to Strathcona County on horseback and in old-fashioned wagons. The feat raised at least $60,000 for the Alberta Cancer foundation.
Jane Hurl, the self-described Trail Boss, says her drive to raise money gave her the strength to mount a comeback after a bad accident last summer.
“I was thrown from the wagon and broke five bones in my back, three breaks in my right hip and one in my left femur,” she said of an incident that happened while she was conditioning her team of horses for last year’s inaugural event. “That just postponed the start date a little. No way were we going to kill the ride.”
Organizers say 23,000 Canadian women will be diagnosed with breast cancer this year, with the disease proving fatal for about 5,000 of them.
While Hurl beat the disease, she argues the fight is far from over.
“The term ‘survivor’ isn’t really accurate because there is no cure and until there is a cure we ride,” she said.
One 67-year-old participant says she took part in the fundraiser on behalf of generations of females in her family.
“I’ve got four daughters and two daughter-in-laws, and eight granddaughters,” said Fern Kornelson. “So, if I can help one of them maybe not go through breast cancer that makes it all worth while.”
Small towns along the trail are being hailed for showing their support for the cause. Beyond hosting the riders overnight, communities competed for the title of The Pinkest Little Town in the West – an honour Rimbey napped last year.
This year’s winner will be treated to a private country concert and a highway sign boasting of their accomplishment.
(Congratulations to all the riders – and a special “Atta Girl!” to Fern Kornelson, a long-time subscriber, who rode her gelding, Trooper the entire length from Waterton to Sherwood Park – some 325 miles – through mountains, across countless rivers, alongside busy highways and quiet country ditches.
“He’s tired,” said Fern, “He’ll be glad to get home.”
Kornelson, a member of Cowboy Trail Church, isn’t hanging up her spurs. She is saddling up her other gelding, Red, on Monday to ride in the Cochrane Parade. – editor)