SEARCY — The White County Sheriff’s Mounted Patrol is rejuvenating its efforts to get out and serve the community, and the patrol’s first endeavor is a horse show to benefit Hope Cottage.
The White County Sheriff’s Mounted Patrol has been around since the 1950s, but Cookie Jackson, current president of the patrol, said its activity dwindled as time went on. The current group is working on getting out into White County and making its presence known, and a horse show and 4D jackpot barrel race, to be held July 27, is one way to do that.
“We wanted to do something that’s going to stay in our county. We want to make a difference,” said Beverly Duncan, White County Sheriff’s Mounted Patrol events coordinator. “We came up with the idea to run a rodeo and decided to make it a benefit for domestic-violence prevention here in White County.”
Hope Cottage is a shelter and support group for women and children who need a place to stay after leaving a violent situation. White County Domestic Violence Prevention runs the shelter, and the women who utilize the shelter receive counseling, guidance and protection.
The horse show and 4D jackpot barrel race will take place at the White County Fairgrounds. Gates will open at 7:30 a.m., and a church service will start at 9 a.m. The rest of the activities will begin after the church service.
Duncan said members of the mounted patrol and volunteers will run the show, and the community is invited to participate in the events.
“The actual games are for our community,” she said. “Everybody’s welcome. It’s $4 per event to ride in, and there are prizes paid back on that.”
The games include skill events such as a speed race, along with purely fun events, such as musical corners, during which horses meander around the arena until the music stops, at which point the riders race their horses to one of the four corners.
Participation in the jackpot barrel race costs $15 for youth and $25 for adults. The jackpot race will be 4D, which gives more riders a chance at winning a prize, Duncan said.
Events will be divided into adult, youth and peewee classes.
In addition to the individual events and the church service, there will be performances throughout the day by a group of local riders who have formed a drill team. The group of eight riders has been practicing, and Duncan said it is going to be exciting to see them perform.
“It’s really neat,” she said. “It has been neat to watch during their practices.”
Jackson said there are 10 active patrol members and five pending applications, and members of the group want to do what they can for White County.
“We want our community to know we’re out there to help them,” Jackson said. “If they have an event and they need us to talk or want us to bring our horses for the kids to pet, we want them to know we’re there for them.”
Admission for the horse show and 4D jackpot barrel race will be $3 at the gate, and food vendors will be available throughout the day. Jackson said the group’s goal is to raise $3,000 for the White County Sheriff’s Office to present to Hope Cottage on the patrol’s behalf. All donations are tax-deductible.
For more information about the White County Sheriff’s Mounted Patrol or the July 27 event, call Jackson at (501) 593-0187.
Staff writer Angela Spencer can be reached at (501) 244-4307 or firstname.lastname@example.org.