If you saw two equestrians on two steeds in Cawston on Wednesday, they likely weren’t locals out for a ride.
The duo, Katie and Jewel Keca, have been riding on the second leg of their cross-Canada trek and just reached the Similkameen Valley. They started out from Kenora, Ont. on May 5.
The aim is to raise money and awareness for the Lions Foundation of Canada Dog Guides.
“B.C. has been amazing. It’s just never-ending beauty and the people have been super kind. The weather has been pretty nice, we’ve had some hot days and not many storms,” said Jewel, adding they encountered some curious wild horses on Tuesday near Oliver.
“We’ve met a lot of kind people who have just help out in so many ways. They don’t even know us. We are strangers but become really good friends quickly.”
According to the website, www.kecingcanada.com, the horse-riding adventurers hailing from Grimsby, Ont. have raised a total of $8,000 for their cause. The sisters have also raised five guide dogs of their own.
“It’s amazing what these dogs can do for their humans and we’re so proud of Kazi, Dori, Zoro, Zebu and Joker,” she said.
The long ride across Canada was Katie’s idea when she was small, explained Jewel. When Jewel finished high school, they planned to go together.
“But life happened and she forgot about the dream,” she said. “I was finishing high school and didn’t want to go to university and then I really wanted a horse at the time so I convinced my parents to let me get a horse. I said I will only have it at home temporarily and that I’d do this dream of riding it across Canada.”
When Jewel finally convinced her sister to pick up the reins on her old dream, they set out from Mahone Bay, N.S. in 2017 and trekked all the way to Sault Ste. Marie. It took them 116 days to cover 2,500 kilometres.
Jewel said once the horses got used to heading out every day, they now look forward to it each morning.
“Every morning they both love to go. They get tired just like us, and sore, but they are happiest when they are out walking and get to meet a lot of new horses, because naturally horses like moving and walking so they really enjoy it.”
After two months, the sisters will be taking a two-week rest stop just outside Princeton to let the horses re-energize.
To donate to their cause, visit the website.
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