FASlink Fetal Alcohol Disorders Society, Bruce Ritchie,
lead rider Steve Thomas, ride coordinator Claudia Julien,
David Ritchie, Casey Newby, individuals, saddle clubs, First
Nations, runners, hikers, youth groups, service clubs, and
volunteers across Canada.
What: Horseback ride and van across Canada.
Film: The ride was filmed and still photographed.
Coast to Coast across Canada. 30,000 km round trip.
ride began May 17, 2007 in Halifax, NS travelled to Victoria,
BC and returned to Bright's Grove, ON.
awareness for Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders.
and maintain resources for grassroots.
than the shortest distance from coast to coast, the route
took us through more populated areas. Moose don't booze.
We needed to see people. There are also areas in which horseback
riders are prohibited by law or practicality.
Errin Weigel's Arabian mare, Brandi, was injured in an accident
and eventually had to be euthanized. We continued on without
our own horses but worked with local riding clubs at events
across Canada. The original schedule was adjusted in some
areas as we were able to travel faster than we had anticipated.
Many groups organized events to help raise public awareness
as the ride passed through their area and to help financially
support the ride.
Rolling Summer Camp: The
ride was very much a rolling summer camp providing opportunities
for children, youth and adults and a means to raise awareness
of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders and other disabilities
affecting about 20% of our population. Our camps were open
to visitors to enjoy chatting with participants, singing
campfire songs and sharing experiences and ideas.
Registry was signed by those who actively participated
and by community leaders.
can you help?
equipment, supplies, food, feed, fuel, accommodation,
etc. Although the 2007 Ride has been completed, the need
remains to recover the costs and prepare for 2008.
Plan an event. Invite your friends, groups and neighbours.
those who donate $20.00 CDN or more, we will send an Official
Ride T-shirt as a "Thank You" gift. Please
specify which size you prefer.
rider Steve Thomas (Golden, BC) is a retired
civil servant who has spent many years working with horses,
in park services, and avalanche control. Inspired by a young
girl with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, Steve became determined
to use his skills, talents and endurance to raise awareness
of FASD by taking the message across Canada on horseback.
Steve found FASlink, and the ride became a reality.
Hatfield with Steve Thomas
ride was organized by FASlink Moderator Bruce Ritchie and
Ride Coordinator, Claudia Julien. On May 17, 2007, Steve,
Claudia and Bruce launched the Ride in Point Pleasant Park,
Julien with Teresa Murphy at Hatfield Farm, Halifax, NS
the Ottawa events June 12 to 15th, Claudia returned home
to New Brunswick.
in Ottawa, Brandi was injured in an accident. In spite of
medical treatment, a week later she had to be euthanized.
Brandi was lost, Steve returned to Golden, BC and Bruce
Ritchie carried on by van, but riding local horses at events.
Steve is still determined to make the entire ride across
Canada at a future date.
June 22nd on, Bruce was joined by his son, David (age 17)
and his son's friend Casey Newbey (age 16).
Ritchie, Bruce Ritchie, Casey Newby
Two Eagle Feathers
To be given an eagle feather is the highest honor that can
be awarded within aboriginal cultures. One feather is to
be worn on my hat and the other is for smudge, the traditional
sacred purification ceremony. They are an indication of
the high value placed on our mission.
Sash. Honour presented by the Métis Nation
Foal donated to the Great Ride
Majik Arabians will donate a registered Arabian
or Arabian/Saddlebred foal to the Great Canadian Horseback
Ride for FASD. Each rider who registers will have the opportunity
to enter the draw. The only stipulations for winning the
foal are that you must be able to guarantee that you have
a home for the foal and are able to provide acceptable care.
The winner is also responsible for the cost of transporting
the foal to his/her new home. Therefore, only enter the
draw if you really want another horse. I need to be able
to ensure that my foal will go to a good home. " Errin
Weigel, Prairie Majik Arabians.
It's a Boy!!!
A Prairie Majik newborn.
had a wonderful response from across the country and many
communities held events. Members of the RCMP Musical Ride
joined the ride as it passed through Ottawa and again at
the Saskatchewan Legislature in Regina.
were welcome to ride, walk, jog, ride a bike, or follow
along in a vehicle to show support. We sold T-shirts and
other items along the way as well.
ride left from Point Pleasant Park in Halifax on May 17,
2007 and arrived at the Pacific Ocean August 20th. Events
were also held on the return journey to Bright's Grove,