Sheriff’s Posse continues longtime Rides for Kids with Special Needs

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Albany, Ore. – It was all smiles and mostly tears of joy when the Linn County Sheriff’s Mounted Posse again hosted an event to provide horseback rides for children with special needs. The bi-annual event– which didn’t take place during COVID– was put on for the second time this. An earlier ride this year took place in May.

The bi-annual ride is hosted by the Posse, but is also supported by teens with the Linn County Sheriff’s Search & Rescue Team who assisted the Posse members. The Linn County Sheriff’s Mounted Posse is a group of volunteers that assist the Sheriff’s Office in a variety of ways including Search and Rescue, event security, parades and community outreach functions such as the Special Needs Ride. Sheriff Michelle Duncan is the Posse’s current commander.

Linn County Sheriff Michelle Duncan pictured with a one of the kids who returned to ride for his second time.

NW Horse Report attended the event, surprising being the only media publication in attendance. The experience was clearly a special opportunity for the children attending where there was plenty of smiles among the children, parents, and the volunteers. Many parents expressed that it was an amazing experience for the kids to enjoy the special bond that can be shared with the horse- especially from the seat of a saddle.

“Since learning about the posse through my time here– and now more since becoming the sheriff– it’s changed a little bit, but [the Posse] is still the same principle that we call up citizens to use horses to help us with our mission.” said Duncan, going to to say “that includes search and rescue missions, especially where we need to go in on foot and the horses can allow us to get to someone a bit more quickly.”

The Posse’s lead volunteer and Duncan both went on to explain the other roles the Posse plays in supporting the community; including being involved with parades, public event security, and community outreach activities like the special needs ride.

While currently one of the stronger Posse programs in the State, Duncan expressed they are always looking for new volunteers looking to get involved in their community. Several current volunteers expressed that they want to see some increase in the younger equestrians in Linn County getting involved.

The Posse’s 75 Year Anniversary Celebration is being held on Sunday, November 6th from 1pm to 4pm at the Linn County Expo Center in Albany. Volunteers said the event is a perfect opportunity for members of the community and potential volunteers to come out to celebrate and learn more about the Posse, including seeing some of the horses.

The Linn County Mounted Posse (pictured in green shirts) and Sheriff Michelle Duncan (bottom center) pictured with teens (red shirts) from the LCSO Search & Rescue. The two groups supported the Posse’s horseback rides for kids with special needs in October, 2022.

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