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Camp Evaluating Future Of Trail Rides

June 18, 2010, 9:47 PM by Cherlene Richards

Camp Evaluating Future Of Trail Rides
SIOUX FALLS, SD - Horse rides at the YMCA Leif Ericson Day Camp will be put on hold as officials review their safety procedures.

Horse rides at the Sioux Falls Day Camp have been going on for years. But in one day, an accident that caused seven girls and a counselor to go to the hospital has put the horseback riding policy under a microscope.

"If we decide that it is safe to go back out there on a horse, trail ride, we'll make sure that it's as safe, or safer, than it was prior," Sioux Falls Family YMCA President Mike Gulick said.

Gulick says they're looking into what may have caused a group of horses to get scared, dump their riders and run off.

"At the time that the first one got spooked, there was a semi that's engine was breaking on I-229, and the horses on that part of the trail were close to the interstate," Gulick said.

Gulick says it's policy all of the riders wear helmets. Still even with the protection, at least one girl stayed overnight in a hospital.

"Thankfully, it looks like they will all make a full recovery, and just had a very negative experience from this accident, but it sounds like they'll be ok," Gulick said.

Now Gulick says the future location of any trail rides and the activity are being questioned.

"We'll evaluate the value of that piece of it. Are there other things we can do that would still involve horses because horses are big part of camp. The kids all enjoy that," Gulick said.

Gulick says a handful of horses that were leased from the McCrossan Boys Ranch were given back to their owners Friday afternoon. But there are a handful of other leased horses still at the camp.

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