Cavalcade rides out to honour horses killed in ‘arson attack’

  • A rider has said she is “overwhelmed” by the support shown for a ride in honour of 12 horses killed in a suspected arson attack.

    The Elmwood Memorial Ride, organised by Ciera Battson and Grace Tredgold, took part on Sunday (2 December) in Burnham-on-Crouch in memory of the horses lost at Elmwood Equestrian Centre on 3 December 2017.

    Ciera, who lost her loan pony Rex in the fire, told H&H: “We had 52 horses on the ride – it was amazing. Riders attended from the local area and some came from further away and used transport to get to us. We were shocked how many people came on board.

    “We were so worried about the weather leading up to the ride, but on the day it was 13C and sunny. A rainbow came out as we set off from Elmwood Equestrian Centre which was really special and then as we were riding through a farmer’s field a double rainbow appeared.”

    The ride received support from the Mayor of Burnham-on-Crouch and a local businesses.

    The mayor came to show her support and see us set off and the landlord of Bar 3 on the high street in Burnham-on-Crouch ran a happy hour for supporters and has donated £200 to our chosen charity, the Essex Horse & Pony Protection Society. We also had a charity box placed in Jade’s Tack Shop in Elmwood but we’ve still to confirm how much has been raised,” said Ciera.

    “The horses were all so well behaved. I rode Major who is owned by Rex’s owner, Helen Waller. Grace and I led the ride with Helen and my sister Beth. Our youngest rider was 18 months old but she did a shorter version of the ride and met us on the high street.”

    The ride was formed with a rolling roadblock of vehicles in front and behind the horses to keep everyone together and all riders wore high-vis clothing.

    “Gary Knight and Daniel Hand, friends from Elmwood, drove the whole route with us, we couldn’t have done it without them,” said Ciera. “We warned as many people as we could in the area and most of the traffic was brilliant and were stopping to film us. We had a few people make comments about the numbers of horses on the road but other than that everyone was very supportive and really enjoyed it. All the riders wore high-vis as we wanted to promote road safety at the same time.”

    Ciera said people have asked if the ride will become an annual event.

    A lot of people have asked us to make it annual because they enjoyed it so much and some people couldn’t take part on the day. We will see how the year goes and decide next year but everyone seems up for it,” she said.

    “We want to thank everyone who was involved; the riders, the stewards, the farmers who allowed us to use their land, the local community and Anne the owner of Elmwood Equestrian Centre. We have had so much support.”

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