Farm Horizons, Nov. 2006

They ride so children may walk

By Cullen Schultz
Staff Writer

If you have been to a parade, you have probably seen a Shriner before, and the Minnesota Zuhrah Shrine organization has a facility in Independence.

The Minnesota Zuhrah Shrine was created in 1947 in Minneapolis and came to Independence in 1988.

Its motto – “We ride so children may walk” – says it all, working to give disabled children a better life.

Known as the Zuhrah Shrine Horse Patrol, they conduct a variety of activities to support Shrine Hospitals and burn units.

“We represent the Shrine; our main philanthropy is to represent children hospitals and burn units in the United States and Canada.” former captain and member John Tackaberry said.

The organization has a 100-acre ranch in Independence. The ranch has a 34-stall barn, and a police barn which has 12 stalls.

They have indoor and outdoor lighted arenas, along with a training pen to meet their needs, and the needs of the horses. They also have a live-in caretaker, who takes care of the horses, and maintains the facilities.

They are the only unit of the Minneapolis organization to have their own ranch and facilities.

Currently, they are boarding 70 horses including horses from the Hennepin County sheriff’s office, and mounted units from the University of Minnesota, and Minneapolis.

There are stables available for boarding at the facility. If a horseperson wants to board their horse, there are a variety of choices for stables, including a box stall, tie stall, and open pasture grazing.

The clubhouse for the organization has a fireplace, kitchen, large dining hall, meeting rooms, stereo sound system, and a complete bar.

The unit participates in parades and drills locally and all over the country. They have participated in the Minnesota Grand Prix at the state fair as an honor and color guard, and have ridden the Tournament of Roses Parade at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena.

A recent appearance nearby was the Anoka Halloween Parade.

Along with parades and drills, Zuhrah Shrine organization has a variety of programs and activities at its ranch in Independence.

Every year for the last 12 years, they have been holding the Polo Classic, with the proceeds going to the Children’s Home Society. They also facilitate Mounted Police Clinic every fall for mounted police units in Minnesota and the Midwest.

“We are a non-profit organization helping kids and adults,” Tackaberry said.

The organization holds meetings the second Wednesday of every month to go over business, drill team, and upcoming appointments.

“We cover general business which includes all the aspects of what we do,” Tackaberry said.

Officers for the organization are Michael Lavine as the president, vice president Brian Rodgers, secretary Bradford Roberts, treasurer Dallas Holmberg, and captain Larry Messerli.

Elections for the organization take place in November.

For more information or to visit the Zuhrah Shrine Horse Patrol, it is located at 4505 County Road 92, or call (763) 972-6857 or (763) 972-6154.

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