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Shawnee Forest to be Site for OVETS Equestrian Conference in June

The Shawnee National Forest in southern Illinois will be the site for the 2008 Ohio Valley Equestrian Trails Symposium (OVETS) Conference, to be held June 19-22. Little Lusk Trail Lodge, near Eddyville, IL, locally referred to as the “Trail Riding Capital of the World”, will be the conference location.

Unlike other conferences, you are encouraged to bring your horse and ride each morning before attending the presentations from 1:00-5:00 p.m.

For those who come early, there will be an organized trail ride beginning at 9 a.m. Thursday. This ride will provide an opportunity to learn firsthand how the Shawnee National Forest is implementing the Trails Designation Project that began June 2006.

The conference will be begin Thursday evening with a social, hosted by the Shawnee Trail Conservancy. This will be a good time for attendees to network with other equestrian trail enthusiasts.

Friday’s presentations will begin with a keynote address by Tom Seay, Host of RFD-TV’s “Best Of America by Horseback”. Afterwards, U.S. Forest Service personnel will cover such topics as trail maintenance and design, a refresher on policies that affect trails (Wilderness Act, NEPA, Endangered Species, etc.). Saturday topics include urban trails, and volunteering and working with agencies and will be presented by leading land management agencies and trails advocates.

The conference will conclude Saturday evening, but attendees are welcome to stay and trail ride on Sunday.

OVETS’ unique agenda brings agencies and equestrians together for a learning experience in a casual setting. At OVETS the networking and fellowship is always the binding factor that makes this conference so successful.

For more information on the symposium log on to the Kentucky Horse Council website at http/www.kentuckyhorse.org/ovets.shtml. Register by contacting Candace Bourne at 618-833-3436 or cbourne51@msn.com. For reservations at Little Lusk Trail Lodge contact Peggy Barger@ 618-672-4303, Route 1 Box 245, Stonefort, Illinois 62987. (You must be attending OVETS to get reservations at Little Lusk that week. So be sure to let Peggy know that when you call.)


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