Members of the Virginia Beach Mounted Patrol are seen at work at the Oceanfront during the Shamrock race weekend in March 2015. Photo by John-Henry Doucette/Princess Anne Independent News
People, especially young ones, are often drawn to the Virginia Beach Mounted Patrol. Working at the Oceanfront on Saturday, March 21, 2015, are Master Police Officers Chuck Lauchner and Julie Hilton, along with horses Disney and Patrick. Photo by John-Henry Doucette/Princess Anne Independent News


PUNGO – Rain or shine, the Friends of the Virginia Beach Mounted Patrol will host a beach ride on Sunday, April 19, at Camp Pendleton to raise money to support the patrol.

The event is “BYOH” – meaning horses will not be provided. Registration costs $65 per rider, and it includes the escorted ride, a shirt, and a cookout.

Registration must be made by April 10. Riders and non-riders alike must fill out a liability form. Proceeds from the event directly benefit the patrol, a city policing asset founded due to the group’s efforts three decades ago.

“We raise money for things the officers and things the horses need that aren’t covered by the [city] budget,” said Peggy Nelson, president of the Friends, recently at her store, Coastline Tack on Sandbridge Road.

“We’re there for the horses,” added Jan Yerkes, a member of the group.

“Every cent goes to the mounted patrol,” Nelson said. “One-hundred percent profit.”

“We don’t even buy ourselves a pizza,” Yerkes said.

Past support includes updated saddles or training gear, flashlight pens to make ticket writing easier from horseback, reflectors for the horses, and funding to participate in a competition.

Forms for the ride and more information about the organization are online via

Call Nelson at (757) 353-5550 or email about the event or supporting the friends.

The group meets at 6:30 p.m., the second Wednesday of each month, at the police barn, 2089 Indian River Road, in Pungo.

The public is welcome, though membership of the friends is limited to adults.

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