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Riders and volunteers kicked of the competition with a parade and opening ceremony.
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Lanesborough Hosts Special Olympic Horse Riding

By Andy McKeeveriBerkshires Staff
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The riders were grouped by skill level, rather than age, for the competition.

LANESBOROUGH, Mass. — Equestrians from around the region descended on Wirtes Farm on Sunday afternoon for the Western Massachusetts Special Olympics Fall Equestrian Festival.

The competition is one of four Special Olympic horse riding events across the state. Riders from Massachusetts could compete in all four shows, space permitting.

Riders associated with programs at Equus Therapeutic, Destiny's Ride and the Therapeutic Equestrian Center competed in two classes — working trail and equitation. The 25 riders were divided into groups based on skill and awards were given out to the winners.

"Everything is free. Nobody pays to participate," said Berkshire County coordinator for the Special Olympics Peggy Harner.

Some 30 volunteers helped put on the one-day event. After an opening parade and ceremony, the riders ranging in age from 8 to 50 and older competed in their division. The event has been a preliminary qualifier for the state competition but this year this is no state competition.

This is the fourth year Equus has hosted the event and the first since moving to Lanesborough from Williamstown. The organization moved to Wedgewood Stable at Wirtes Farm last fall and has expanded programming since.

"We're delighted to host this at this farm," Janet Renard of Equus said.

The organization was first chosen to host the event because it was one of the most established therapeutic equestrian organizations in the county. The organization's seven horses were used by the competitors.

Future events at Equus include a gymkhana and tack tag sale on Sunday, Sept. 29, from 10 to 4 and a benefit horse show on Sunday, Oct. 20, from 9 to 4.

Tags: horse show,   horsemanship,   horses,   Special Olympics,   

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Authorities Investigating Bomb Threat at Bard College at Simon's Rock

Staff Reports
GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. — Bard College at Simon's Rock was on lockdown Thursday after an anonymous bomb threat was emailed to the campus. 
The all-clear was given at 1:30 p.m. after the grounds were searched by local first responders and the state police bomb squad.
According to Police Chief Paul Storti, the college notified police shortly after 7:15 a.m. of the threat and the college campus was locked down. Great Barrington Police also posted a notification on its Facebook page alerting the community of the situation, stating "appropriate emergency and investigative personnel are on scene. Further information will be released at a later time."
"The school immediately initiated their safety protocols while the Great Barrington Police Department investigated the threat," according to a release from the Police Department. "Great Barrington Fire Department, Officers from Egremont and Sheffield, Massachusetts State Police, MSP Detectives assigned to the District Attorney's Office, as well as the Massachusetts State Police Bomb Unit assisted on scene. The campus was thoroughly searched and deemed safe."
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