Charity riders brave scorching heat

  • Ally Boone, Tracey Pope, Jane Stanley, Sally Ann Hayward and Beverley Gurney are taking part in an 80-mile charity ride to raise money for the Arron Horsburgh Memorial Fund, which Beverly set up following the sudden death of her daughter’s fiancé.

    Arron was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma two years ago in February and died the following August, the day after he was meant to be getting married.

    “I’ve never done any work for charity before,” says Beverly. “But I was diagnosed with breast cancer a few years ago, and I am still here, wheras Arron is not. I feel that it is due to the lack of funding available for this form of cancer that he didn’t survive, and everything we can raise will go towards either research or equipment to help people with this condition.”

    The riders are now nearing the end of their exhausting journey and aim to reach their goal at the Ivinghoe Beacon in Buckinghamshire by the end of today, having set off from Wiltshire on Sunday.

    “It has been gruelling, for riders and horses alike,” explains Beverly. “Everybody has been very brave and we did plenty of fitness training in the months leading up to the ride.

    “The horses have been wonderful as well, considering that two of them came to my partner for reschooling when their previous owners classified them as ‘unrideable’.”

    The hard work has paid off, as the horses have been good as gold so far, according to Beverly.

    “We have been starting very early in the morning, with lots of rests and lots of water so that the horses don’t overheat, and we try not to go too long into the afternoon,” she explains.

    Beverly is hoping to raise more than £2,000 for the hospital where Arron died and is feeling rewarded, but tired by organising the ride.

    “I felt that I wanted to do something very badly after Arron died so suddenly, and this ride is something I feel he would have been proud of. It is incredible to feel that I can make such a difference,” she added.

    To make a donation or for further information, please contact (tel: 01844 344111).