The Spinal Research charity, which funds research into the repair of human spinal cord injuries, is organising two equestrian challenges over the next year.

The UK-based organisation is desperate to raise a substantial sum of money over the next few years in order to allow major research to continue.

Lyn How, a fundraiser for Spinal Research, has been instrumental in organising these two new challenges.”Within the next couple of years we need to raise a considerable amount of money to allow Spinal Research to continue making incredible advances in spinal injuries.”

The Polo Challenge, which takes place at Hurstwood Park in Surrey from 5 – 9 August, is an intensive five-day course.

Open to all standards of riders, participants will literally live, breathe and eat polo – the only entry requirement is thatthey have never previously played polo.

There are 16 places available on this challenge, and the cost for the five days is £950, which includes all accommodation, food, tuition and pony hire.

Accomodation will be provided dormitory style with a canteen breakfast, packed lunch and evening meal taken in the clubhouse.

The end of the course will feature a polo match played at Hurstwood Park followed by a celebratory lunch with an award for the most improved player and the bestfundraiser.

The second challenge will take place in 2004 in the Torres del Paine National Park in Chile, from 19 February to 3 March.

Twelve riders will follow the route first ridden by the female Victorian explorer Lady Florence Dixie in1878.

The eight-day trek will be led by experienced guides using local horses selected for their speed and endurance over rough terrain. This trek is only open to confident and experienced riders, who will be expected to cover distances of between 25 and 40kms each day.

The cost of the Chile trek is £2,150 and includes all international flights, hotel accommodation and food bar three meals, plus the hire of the horses, guides, cooks and helpers during the eight day trek.

Theminimum age for both challenges is 18 and the maximum weight limit is 15st. Participants must agree to raise a minimum of £500 for each challenge.

“Both these challenges will be tough, but very rewarding, they have been carefully organised and researched to provide a unique experience,” said Lyn.

For more information on theses challenges contact Lyn How (tel: 07774 909450.)