Bossier, De Soto say no to ‘Dukes & Boots’ trail ride event

Local

BOSSIER PARISH, La. (KTAL/KMSS) — Organizers of a weekend trail ride event forced out of Bossier Parish over safety concerns will have to find a new location if they want the ride to go on, after attempting to move the event to De Soto Parish only to have that permit revoked.

The “Dukes & Boots” trail ride event organized and promoted by the Bossmane Riding Club was originally set to take place at a property on Fullwood Road in Princeton, but a judge on Thursday granted an injunction requested by the Bossier Parish Police Jury after local authorities cited safety concerns following shootings at similar events last week in De Soto Parish.

While organizers were advertising a move to a location off of Highway 5 in Gloster as of early Thursday afternoon, that site, too, appears to be off after the De Soto Parish Sheriff’s Office learned of the move and reached out to the police jury with concerns about not having adequate resources to ensure public safety.

De Soto Parish Police Juror Greg Baker confirmed late Thursday afternoon that the police jury had granted and then revoked a permit for a trail ride during a meeting called to discuss procedures moving forward for special events in the parish in light of the violence at the previous week’s events.

The trail ride events draw large crowds and a lot of vehicles. Those vehicles block roadways, and as shootings at the last two trail ride events have demonstrated, those factors made responding to those life-threatening emergencies more difficult. At one of the events in Grand Cane on Saturday, gunshots were fired and one person was wounded. Due to the large crowd size and traffic at the scene, EMTs could not get to the victim.

Deputies in Bossier Parish say Fullwood Road, where the event was going to be held, will be closed with the exception of locals and patrol deputies will enforce the injunction this weekend. Anyone attempting to attend the canceled event will be turned around, and they say those who do not comply will be arrested.

“Public safety is my number one priority as Sheriff of Bossier Parish,” Bossier Sheriff Julian Whittington said in a released statement Thursday.

“I appreciate everyone’s compliance as we keep residents safe.”

As of early Thursday afternoon, BPSO said they had been unable to contact the promoters of the event to inform them that it was canceled.

Meanwhile, event organizers have not yet said whether they will seek yet another location.

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