May 22, 2013 2:06 PM
The St. Landry Parish Sheriff says that organized trail rides, at least along state highways, may be a thing of the past in his parish.
Sheriff Bobby Guidroz wrote in an email that the St. Landry Parish ordinance that regulates trail rides specifically requires the Louisiana State Police to provide a certification allowing any trail rides along state highways.
Unfortunately for the riding clubs, the LSP can't do that.
"Not only does this cause a traffic issue, it's against the law," said Louisiana State Police Troop I spokesman Stephen Hammons."Riding a horse on a state highway anywhere in Louisiana is illegal."
For Guidroz, that puts an end to many of the highway rides.
"If the trail ride organization does not have the letter of approval from state police as required by parish ordinance," Guidroz wrote in his email, "I am not going to allow my officers to escort the riders on the state highway."
This latest policy decision comes on the heels of a shooting in Acadia Parish that left one man dead after a trail ride there last weekend.
According to an email chain obtained by KATC, St. Landry Parish government recently approved a trail ride application for the Bunnies Trail Riders Organization. Guidroz wrote that "a rival trail ride organization will be confronting one another regarding a shooting, verbal disputes and unfinished fist fights that occurred on a trail ride in Acadia Parish recently."
He cited safety concerns, for the riders as well as the public and his officers, in rescinding the permit.