Soldiers raise £30k for Army charities with Great North Ride

  • Two soldiers have raised more than £30,000 for military charities Combat Stress and The Light Dragoons Colonel’s Appeal with a 436 sponsored ride from St John’s Wood barracks in London to Edinburgh.

    Former cavalry officer Ewen Cameron and current commander of the King’s Troop Major Neil Cross left London at 4am on Friday 25 March and arrived at Holyrood Palace (pictured) 86 hours later, at 6pm on Monday 28 March, after 54 hours in the saddle.

    They rode around 160 horses along the way, borrowed from hunts, the army and members of the public.

    Their Great North Ride recreated the historic ride undertaken by Sir Richard Carey in 1603, to pass news of Queen Elizabeth I’s death to her heir James VI of Scotland.

    “It was a demanding venture,” said Major Cross.

    “When Sir Robert Carey performed the same journey in 1603 there were no major impediments to his progress.

    “We had to contend with motorways, railways, cities, barbed-wire, tarmac limiting us to a trot and any number of other obstructions.

    “What made it possible was the extraordinary support we received from our friends and supporters along the way.

    “We were shown incredible kindness and entrusted with treasured horses all along our route. From hunters to ex-Grand National runners, we were legged up with real enthusiasm and goodwill.

    “Letters to individual horse owners will follow, but in the meantime we would like publicly to thank every one of the many people who turned out their horses at all hours and in some remote spots to make this possible. It was extraordinary.”

    To donate, visit www.justgiving.com/The-Great-North-Ride, or send cheques made payable to the The Great North Ride to: The Great North Ride Office, GTC West Street, Fontmell Magna, Shaftesbury SP7 0PF.

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