Seminar on Johns Island provides search and rescue training using horses

Source: Live 5
Updated: Mar. 28, 2021 at 10:04 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - A mounted search and rescue seminar is taking place on Johns Island.

Mounted search and rescue is when horses are used as search partners to help locate missing people.

The seminar took place at the Charleston Area Therapeutic Riding campus on Johns Island.

Participant Sarah Hake is with the newly formed group, Lowcountry Area Mounted Search and Rescue.

“Horses can cover a lot more ground much more quickly than people can on foot,” Hake said. “So it’s helpful in a situation of an overdue hunter, a child or maybe an elderly person who has wandered off in the woods somewhere.”

Hake says mounted search and rescue teams would generally be called in by local law enforcement or first responder agencies to assist with their search efforts. That could include missing people or evidence searches.

The seminar included five experienced instructors to teach participants about mounted search and rescue efforts. Representatives from the Savannah Mounted Police Department and other agencies were there.

Charleston Area Therapeutic Riding Executive Director Colleen Trepen welcomed the group to train at their facility.

“We have a wonderful 43 acres here on Johns Island and a covered arena,” Trepen said. “We have the facility to accommodate the group and make sure that they can get the training that they need to also serve our community as well.”

Hake says they hope to be able to assist agencies in the Lowcountry soon.

“That’s the hope for our end goal is to have an established unit that is prepared and well trained, so that if law enforcement needs us they can call us and we can respond appropriately.” Hake said.

Those interested can learn more about the Charleston Area Therapeutic Riding by visiting their website. They say their mission is to empower children and adults with disabilities to enjoy more active and fulfilling lives through therapeutic horsemanship.

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