It's an annual event at the Hughes-Jones Centre for People and Animals — free pony rides to put a smile on someone's face and help raise donations for family violence prevention services at Anderson House.
"We wanted to make sure kids staying in Anderson House had the opportunity to do something special," said centre owner Ellen Jones.
'Bypass is cutting through our land'
But this could be the last time the event is held at Jones's 271 Cornwall Road location. The reason is that her property, comprised of a three-storey home and attached horse barn, is in the path of the province's Cornwall bypass project.
"The bypass is cutting through our land, so they will need all of our 75-acre property in order to make the bypass work," Jones said.
"So we are aware of that which is a good thing for us, better than us being next to a four-way highway. That being said we are now [asking]: 'Are we going to be able to relocate or will this be the end of HJC?'"
Jones said she is talking to the province about compensation for the property. She hopes the compensation is enough to build new HJC stables nearby next year.
"Our general feeling is that the community would really like us to stay here and relocate. I know all our clients past and present are very much hoping for a positive outcome, and we're staying very positive,`she said.
"We realize people are looking to us and how we're handling the situation."
300 show up for pony ride event
Even so, Saturday's event, now in its fifth year, had about 30 volunteers show up to help with the pony rides. Many were young people, Jones said.
She estimated about 300 people came out to take part in the event, some as young as 10 months old.
A Transportation Department spokesperson said the government won't buy any land for the bypass until the proposed route gets environmental approval, which could happen next year.
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