A ride on Sandbridge Beach to benefit Virginia Beach Mounted Patrol

Supporters of the Virginia Beach Police Mounted Patrol ride along Sandbridge Beach near the Little Island Fishing Pier on Saturday, Nov. 3, during the annual Beach Ride that helps support the patrol. [John-Henry Doucette/The Princess Anne Independent News]

SANDBRIDGE — Riders and supporters of the Virginia Beach Police Mounted Patrol gathered at Little Island Park near Sandbridge Beach on Saturday, Nov. 3, for a Beach Ride that supports the unit.

It was an opportunity for riders, many from out of town, to get their horses out onto Sandbridge Beach while supporting the work of the specialized unit based in Pungo that serves the city at large.

Police Sgt. Mary Jo Crooke thanked all of the people who came to the ride, noting that much of their work would not be possible without support from the public.

“Have a good time,” she added, before the mounted police led the riders onto the beach.

About 70 riders participated in the event, though it was a blustery day at the beach, according to Peggy Nelson, president of the Friends of the Virginia Beach Mounted Police. In an interview, she thanked the mounted police, the Sandbridge Volunteer Rescue Squad and the Sandbridge Beach Civic League for supporting the ride.

“Everybody had a wonderful day in spite of the wind,” Nelson said.

Mark and Saundra Feaster traveled from Shenandoah Valley to participate in the ride. After the ride, they spent a bit more time on the beach near Little Island Fishing Pier, acclimating the horses to the ocean.

“Our horses have never seen water that moves like this or smells like this,” Saundra Feaster said.

“It’s very nice,” Mark Feaster said of the Beach Ride. “We put on benefit rides sometimes, so we’re always looking for rides to go to.”

Fay Strasel of Isle of Wight brought her horse Anna to the Beach Ride, and she said she would return again to the event for a couple of reasons.

“It’s hard to find places where you can get on the beach,” Strasel said. “And it’s for a good cause.”

Follow the non-profit friends via @FriendsVBMP on Facebook or email friendsofvbmpolice@gmail.com.

Fay Strasel of Isle of Wight was among the riders who brought their horses to the edge of the water, some even getting them to step into the surf. Here, Strasel offers Anna a handful of water. “I’ll be back again,” Strasel said, noting it can be hard to find opportunities to ride along a beach. [John-Henry Doucette/The Princess Anne Independent News]
Members of the mounted patrol lead participants of the Beach Ride onto Sandbridge Beach on a windy morning in Virginia Beach. [John-Henry Doucette/The Princess Anne Independent News]
Jude Comartos, 3, held by a family friend, Lauren Smead, meets a quarter horse named Bocephus along the beach. [John-Henry Doucette/The Princess Anne Independent News]

© 2018 Pungo Publishing Co., LLC

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