Hunts help farmer on charity tractor drive across the UK

  • A Leicestershire farmer whose father died from Huntington’s disease is riding from John O’Groats to Land’s End in an open-top tractor to raise money to fight the disease.

    His journey, which starts today (Tuesday, 15 July), will take between three and four weeks, and will be supported by hunts across the UK en-route. Back-up is provided by friend Brian Bradford, 63, travelling behind in a motorhome.

    Dave Neal, 43, from Hinckley in Leicestershire, decided to do the journey because his father, who died from Huntington’s, had intended to do the trip on shire horses for cancer research prior to his death. Both Mr Neal’s uncles also suffer from Huntingdon’s, a debilitating neurological disease which is akin to Parkinsons.

    Fellow farmer, James Barclay, 48, from Woodhall Spa in Lincolnshire, has rallied the support of 58 hunts to help the farmer on his journey.

    Mr Barclay, a former master of the Fitzwilliam and Cottesmore hunts, said: “I’m getting a great response. This brings hunting and farming together in the name of a very worthwhile cause.”

    Mr Neal said: “In his day my father was a big strong chap of 19 stone. When he died he weighed a mere five stone. We’ve had so much support from friends, family, and people we don’t know. I can’t wait to get out there and meet everyone.”

    UK Tractors in Dorset have loaned Dave a Tafe 35 for the trip.

    For more information go to www.justgiving.com/tractordrive

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