Catching up with Gary Hora, President of ATVMB and the Woodridge ATV Sandhogs

“Funding is an ongoing issue and the cost of trail signage and other materials are constantly going up.” — Gary Hora

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Gary Hora wears sunglasses and camo gear with his arm around Joan, who also wears shades and is sporting a bright smile. They stand in tall brown grass in front of a green ATV.

Gary Hora enjoys going on group rides with Woodridge ATV Sandhogs club members, like Joan from Saskatchewan. — Photo courtesy Gary Hora

Gary Hora is in the business of getting things done. As President of the All-Terrain Vehicle Association of Manitoba (ATVMB) and President of the Woodridge ATV Sandhogs, Hora has a lot on the go.

Over the past few years, Hora and the Sandhogs have changed how they do trail and volunteer work, implementing strategies to make volunteering as fun and enjoyable as possible. Hora and his team are also proactive in encouraging safety when exploring the Manitoba backcountry.

We caught up with Hora to see how the Woodridge ATV Sandhogs are getting along amidst the unpredictable annual turmoil brought on by mother nature and other unforeseen factors.

How has the last year gone for your club?

The last year was another very challenging year, like 2021. In 2021, we were in a drought which resulted in several backcountry travel bans due to the high fire risks. 2022 was the complete opposite. It was very wet and several riding areas were flooded out. The trails really took a beating with all the washouts and erosion from the rains. We spent a lot of time repairing the same trails over and over after each heavy rain storm we got. It was challenging to keep up.

A flooded section of an ATV trail next to a different photo showing it being repaired by a skid steer with a large bucket of dirt fill.

Before and after: (L) A flooded section of trail. (R) Repairing the trail involved two semi-truck loads of fill and four hours of skid steer work to fix about 150 feet of trail. — Photo courtesy Gary Hora

What are the top two places to go for a ride in your area? Why?

The North Ridge in the Sandilands Forest, also known as Suicide Hill. Absolutely the best view around.

My second choice would be the Wampum Forest to the southeast of my home. Hilly terrain and beautiful red and white pine trees.

What initiatives has your organization taken lately?

Our club has not really had the time in the past two years to get anything off the ground, as we have been busy dealing with trail repairs due to the extreme weather we have seen. We would like to add to our trail system, hopefully this year, with a 55-kilometre loop off the west side of our 72-kilometre main trail. However, funding is an ongoing issue and the cost of trail signage and other materials are constantly going up.

Is there anything else you’d like to mention?

We use our club’s Facebook page to promote the club and update riders on trail conditions, fire rating hazards, and trail repair locations.


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