The Prince George Omineca Chapter, formed in 2016 under the direction and enthusiasm of Sandra Erickson, who had recently relocated from Quesnel and the North Cariboo chapter of BCHBC. Located in the heart of the central interior, our city is, quite literally, “the gateway to the North”, as Highway 97 (North/South) and Highway 16 (East/West) intersect here. The Omineca (meaning “slow-moving water”) district covers the north central interior section of BC.
As a fledgling 4-year-old chapter averaging about 25 members, we are proud to say we have hosted a number of day rides and clinics. Our main event so far was a well-attended interchapter theme ride “Prospecting the Cariboo” in 2019. The same year a committee was struck and excited to put plans in place to host Rendezvous 2020 in Prince George for the first time ever. Unfortunately (as with many 2020 plans) RV 2020 was postponed until the province opens for large-scale events once again.
PGO Chapter meetings have been held in a variety of venues – sometimes at a restaurant for a more social gathering, sometimes at the College of New Caledonia, where we have had the pleasure of talks from a local veterinarian, a Search & Rescue member on being bear aware, a local horse trainer who gave an interesting overview on bits and headgear.
Our chapter has offered clinics such as “Horsemanship 101”, “Training to Overcome Trail Challenges”, a packing clinic, intro to high-lining & hobbling, a Pancake Breakfast ride, as well as a successful Cowboy Challenge. We were invited to attend an emergency first aid course presented by North Thompson Chapter’s Dr. Norm Keintz in McBride – an extremely valuable experience. Some members have participated in organized events such as Rendezvous in Merritt and Barriere, poker rides with the Robson Valley chapter, and weekends with North Cariboo chapter for parades and campouts/rides in the Barkerville & 70 Mile House areas. This year we experienced rides with the Northwest Chapter at their amazing Coalmine Camp venue, riding Bell Mountain with Robson Valley members, and a trip to Vancouver Island to enjoy the beauty of the Sayward Valley and Memekay Horse Camp with dedicated NVI volunteers.
Our ongoing pet project has been the reopening and ongoing maintenance of the “Coburn Trail” at Red Rock, just 20 minutes south of PG. This trail is a solid 2-hour loop through some huge timber, several steep ravines. Some sections of this scenic trail follow high above the Fraser River. Initially built by passionate volunteers of the Red Rock Community Association, the trail fell into disuse several years ago after Kurt & Sheila Coburns’ passing. Our members meet every Mother’s Day and enjoy a pancake breakfast put on by the Red Rock Volunteer Fire Department, then head off to the trail, armed with chainsaws and quads for our annual work bee, clearing the trail of winter windfall and reposting signage.
Our chapter holds membership with the Tabor Mountain Recreation Society as well as the Cranbrook Hill Greenway Society, to collaborate and support with building, maintaining and sharing the trails in our area. For more local information, follow us on FaceBook!