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Sand Canyon Horseback Ride Raises Questions

More than 100 riders on horseback headed south in the Sand Canyon river wash at 7:30 a.m., with a white-gowned woman at the lead, according to witnesses.

Horseback riders took to the Sand Canyon River wash early Wednesday morning, prompting some local residents to wonder what was up.

Eyewitnesses reported the ride stopped shortly after 7:30 a.m. when the riders neared the In-N-Out Burger by the 14 Freeway and Sand Canyon Road. The ride was apart of the Our Lady of Guadalupe celebrations taking place Dec. 12, according to Jesse Hernandez, who rode in the event.

All throughout Mexico, the U.S. and other Latin American countries, Feast Day of Our Lady of Guadalupe takes place on Dec. 12, and  is the most important religious holiday of the year, Hernandez said.

Our Lady of Guadalupe is a Roman Catholic icon for the Virgin Mary -- one of the most important icon’s in Latin American catholicism.

The ride started near Herrera Ranch in Sand Canyon around 5 a.m., said Hernandez. The ride was apart of the “Inauguration of the Virgin Mary” -- celebrating the Dec. 12 anniversary of the icon which first appeared in Mexico in 1581.

Because of the 12/12/12 date significance, many other ceremonies, including one of the largest at Cathedral of Our Lady of Angels in downtown Los Angeles, began at 5 a.m. local time. The Feast blends traditional Mexican culture with Roman Catholicism, celebrating Our Lady of Guadalupe, the Roman Catholic icon that one of the most revered and visited in the Latin catholic community.

No Catholic churches in the local area claimed involvement in the ceremony and Hernandez had no knowledge on who organized the ride.