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Equestrian TV stars take on 340-mile challenge

Former stars of an equestrian TV show are taking on a 340-mile charity cycle ride from Northumberland to the Talland School of Equitation in Gloucestershire.

David Morris, who was on the first series of Horse & Country’s All Stars Academy four years ago, is tackling the challenge alongside Guy Simmons, who took part in the programme this year and has also starred in the channel’s Winging It.

Funds raised by their trip, which is expected to take three or four days, will go to David’s local Riding for the Disabled Association (RDA) branch and also to charity Mental Health UK.

“I wanted to get fitter for riding and I was thinking about what I could do and I decided to do a bike ride from my house to Talland which is my favourite place,” said David, who met Talland’s proprietors Pammy, Pippa and Charlie Hutton on the show and has continued to train with them.

“I wanted to raise the money for the RDA as I have seen the work they can do. I have a friend with a disabled child who went from being unable to speak to talking once she rode a horse. When I first started riding [only a year and a half before appearing on All Stars Academy] I realised how powerful horses can be,” he added.

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David said he was “a bit apprehensive” about the trip which will include some gruelling climbs in the Yorkshire Dales.

“I’ve only ever ridden horses and motorbikes in the past seven years and while I have done a lot of health and fitness training in the past I have let it slip a bit!” he said.

“The great thing about cycling is that you can fit it round your other commitments. I live 15 miles from work so I am cycling a 30-mile round trip there and back every day as well as going to the stables on the bike.”

The ride will start on 6 Oct and anyone wanting to donate can visit David’s Virgin Money Giving page.

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