Bear Mountain Boys gear up for summer carriage rides

Leroy and Bruce, 5-year-old Belgian Draft horses, make up the Bear Mountain Boys team. (Courtesy Photo/Brent Brophy)

Leroy and Bruce, 5-year-old Belgian Draft horses, make up the Bear Mountain Boys team. (Courtesy Photo/Brent Brophy)

By Jane Bond
Special to the News Advocate

ARCADIA — A horse carriage team owned by Brent Brophy recently made its debut on the streets of Arcadia, offering rides throughout the summer.

The team, known as the Bear Mountain Boys, is anticipated to be a favorite summer attraction for Arcadia residents and visitors alike.

The team recently acquired a new carriage, which arrived last week and will provide an exciting experience for all ages.

The Bear Mountain Boys team makes their way around Arcadia in preparation for the carriage rides. (Courtesy Photo/Friends of Arcadia Facebook page)

The Bear Mountain Boys team makes their way around Arcadia in preparation for the carriage rides. (Courtesy Photo/Friends of Arcadia Facebook page)

“It’s custom-built, and will seat several people,” said Brophy. “It’s brand new and come all the way from Canada.”

The carriage is handicap-accessible, making the Bear Mountain Boys an experience that everyone can enjoy.

“A few of the seats will fold down so a wheelchair can fit,” said Brophy. “It won’t be accessible immediately because I will have to build a ramp for it, but it will be ready this summer.”

Brophy said that they will bring two horses to pull the carriage, a duo that they acquired back in March.

“They are the biggest team of horses you will see in this area in terms of size,” he said. “Bruce is over 2,700 pounds and Leroy is around 2,500 pounds.”

The pair stands over 19 hands tall each, and are Belgian Draft Horses.

Amish Jack, who assists with the team, said that the pair of horses have been taken around the area several times already in preparation for public rides.

“They’re 5 years old, and they have been in numerous parades and public events so they’re very road-safe,” Jack explained.

“They came out of the Amish country and were trained by one of the best Amishmen I know. They’re a great team of horses.”

There will be plenty of opportunities to see the team and take a ride around Arcadia throughout the season.

“We are going to start out with rides on Friday and Saturday evenings, and possibly extend to longer hours if there is interest,” said Brophy.

“Of course there may be days where it’s too hot or the weather isn’t cooperating, so the hours will be a bit flexible.”

“We’ll be here all summer, and stick around until the snow falls,” Jack added. “We’re going to bring it back every year.”

The carriage will be accessible through the Arcadia Ice House, and a discount will be given on every ride with a purchase of ice cream.

Jack felt that bringing the team to the area will provide a one-of-a-kind experience that will be a benefit to the community.

“We’re trying to get more things going in the area, and this is a good thing to have for the people living here and the people visiting,” he said. “All the people in town have been waiting for this wagon to come.”

 

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Posted by Michelle Graves

Michelle is the managing editor of the Manistee News Advocate. You can reach her at (231) 398-3106 or mgraves@pioneergroup.com.

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