The Journal Gazette
Friday, October 01, 2021 1:00 am

Veterans to ride horses through city

To raise suicide awareness; Pence to attend

LISA GREEN | The Journal Gazette

Former Vice President Mike Pence is scheduled to honor veterans on an Oct. 9 “Trail to Zero” ride through Fort Wayne.

Pence will join Bravehearts Therapeutic Riding, which has organized a 20-mile ride with more than 20 horse-mounted veterans, a news release said.

BraveHearts bills itself as the leading U.S. program offering equine-assisted therapy to veterans with mental health-related and physical challenges tied to military service.

Bravehearts has organized several rides the past five years to commemorate the 20 veterans nationwide said to lose their mental health struggle to suicide each day.

Meggan Hill-McQueeney, Bravehearts' president, said the rides are considered “critical conversation starters.” 

“It is imperative we raise awareness and find solutions to actively protect those who put their lives on the line for our nation,” she said in a statement.

Participants will begin riding horses at Emmanuel Lutheran Church, 9909 Wayne Trace. Prime viewing points likely will include University of Saint Francis, Parkview Field, Buckner Park and several downtown locations. The ride will end at the Veteran's National Memorial & Museum, 2122 O'Day Road.

Arrival times are still being determined and the route might change, if circumstances require. Additional details are available online at

Allen County Commissioner Richard Beck said local officials are thrilled that the tour includes Fort Wayne. 

Riders from the Three Rivers Horse Trail Group will participate. The not-for-profit group, in conjunction with the commissioners, is constructing an ADA-compliant horse trail park. Summit Equestrian is also expected to have six veterans in the local ride, the news release said.

BraveHearts scheduled a multicity tour that began in September, National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month. Chicago, New York City and Lexington, Kentucky are included in the tour.

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