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SPECIAL DAY: One fine equine event

Saturday truly was a special day in our county and Friday will just add to the happiness..
The Lost Creek Equine Center LLC host a first-ever state-sanctioned horse event for special needs youth from around Georgia.
The event drew 30 participants who are in preparation for the Special Olympics with horses in October.
Organizers hope this is the first year of more to come at the Screven County site at 1251 Airport Road.
On Friday, May 9, the local annual Special Olympics event for students within the school system and some adults will be held at the county’s recreation department starting at 9:30 a.m..
The center’s event is the Special Olympics Georgia Invitational for the participants to earn points toward state totals.
Spectators were able to interact with trainers and horses and several festivities will be available for children.
The equine center is owned by Debbie Bergeron and Mary Sparkes.
“Hopefully, this will become an annual event,” said David Crawford, sports manager for the Special Olympics of Georgia. “It is heatwarming to watch these participants.
Horse events are held in Perry in August and in Gainesville in October. Crawford said the timing of this event is “great” for training for the others.
“If there are opportunities, participants will be able to train, compete, and grow.”
Crawford said Saturday’s event provides people from rural areas a chance to ride without having to drive additional hours.
To receive ribbons, participants must be 8 years old, but their is no age limit beyond that.
“There is no ceiling. They can be 108,” Crawford said.
Screven Countain Ella Webb, who is 5, participated, but could not place in Special Olympic events like trail riding. Webb did, however, receive an honorable mention ribbon.
Horse riding is just one of a long line of events that Special Olympians can participate in within Georgia.
The local annual Screven County Special Olympics will be May 9 at the Screven County Recreation Department.
The opening ceremony will be at 9:30 a.m. and the games will conclude at approximately 11:30 a.m.
The organizers said the 2013 games were successful because of assistance from community sponsors. Individuals and groups over the years have assisted financially and as volunteers. The United Way of Screven County also has helped with the Special Olympics.
The community is invited to come take part in the games, said the Special Olympics Management Team of Rondee Ondriezek and Tammy Brannen.
Those who would like to assist, may contact the high school at 451-2300; email rondriezek@screven.k12.ga.us; or fax to 451-2301. The mailing address is Screven County High School, 226 Halcyondale Road, Sylvania, GA 30467, ATTN: Rondee Ondriezek or Tammy Brannen.