The sturdy ponies weren’t alone in their feat. More than 100 other riders and their horses joined Bror, Troll and Rusty as part of Wild Pink Yonder. Now in its second year, the fundraising event, lead by mother-and-son team Jane and Rusty Hurl, takes riders on an Alberta tour to raise money for the Alberta Cancer Foundation. Participants seek pledges to travel by wagon or on horseback, stopping each night to camp out in the countryside, or in small towns along the way.
Many of the towns Wild Pink Yonder stops in also organize their own fundraisers. “The thing that stands out with me the most is the community spirit on display when we go into these towns,” Rusty says. “They’d put on these wonderful fundraisers and paint their town, literally, pink. I saw so many pink flowers down Main Street and people dressed in pink.”
Wild Pink Yonder is a family affair. Jane was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2006 and underwent treatment. Now her daughter, Kirsten, has breast cancer, too. For Rusty, the ride means the ability to take action. “It’s a wonderful way to be able to fight back,” he says. “Breast cancer is something that has gone through my family.”
In 2009, the ride raised $55,651. This years, riders topped $60,000. To support riders, or to get involved next year, check out www.wildpinkyonder.com.