SEBASTIAN COUNTY (KFSM)- The third annual Sebastian County Mounted Patrol Trail Ride helped raise funds to buy uniforms for the horses and equipment for its owners. It was a 4.5 mile horse ride Saturday (Nov. 8).
The group of volunteers on horseback are an extension of the Sebastian County Sheriff's Office.
Mike Blevins is a member of the Mounted Patrol. He's a retired chief deputy with the sheriff's office.
"There's no funding that comes directly from the taxpayers," Blevins said. "It's all donated money or money that we raise at events like this."
He works alongside his horse Chant.
"He's my partner in crime," Blevins said. "Sometimes he doesn't do what I want him to do but he's a pretty good horse."
Most members of the Mounted Patrol are reserve officers or fully-certified officers that have retired or have day jobs, Blevins said.
"When you put those two things together, law enforcement and volunteering with horses, it's just an ideal situation to volunteer for," Blevins said.
Greff Whitsitt, reserve for the Sebastian County Sheriff's Office, donated his land for the fundraiser.
He said the Mounted Patrol can access spots with rough terrain to help the sheriff's office in certain cases.
"Like manhunts or missing people and anytime four wheelers can't get into places, horses can get into places," Whitsitt said.
Whitsitt said the mounted patrol's work sometimes goes unnoticed.
"They have emblems on and they have uniforms on, but some people don't realize that horse walking is part of the Sebastian County Sheriff's Office," he said.
Participants paid $10 and lunch was provided.