Teenager takes on 700-mile challenge to help horses

  • A teenage rider and Redwings supporter will cycle more than 700 miles to raise money for the charity’s residents in her biggest challenge to date.

    Isabel Wright, 13, from Rugby, Warwickshire, started fundraising for Redwings in 2021 and so far has raised more than £3,000.

    In her latest challenge starting this weekend (19 August), Isabel will cycle to the five Redwings visitor centres across Scotland and England, accompanied by her father Rich and his best friend Dave Wright, who will take it in turns to ride the distance on a tandem bike with her. The 740-mile trip will begin at the Scottish centre, Redwings Mountains in Forfar, Angus, and they will cover 50 to 70 miles per day as they cycle to the Caldecott and Aylsham centres in Norfolk, Ada Cole in Essex, and finish at the Oxhill centre in Warwickshire.

    “I don’t have a horse of my own, but I love and ride horses,” said Isabel. “My nan took me to my local Redwings visitor centre when I was eight and it gave me the idea that I wanted to raise money to help them. I decided I wanted to do something every summer.

    “My dad and I are really into fitness so we wanted to do things that would be a good challenge. This is the third fundraiser we’ve done, and I can’t wait.”

    Isabel, Rich and Dave walked 100 miles across the Shetland Isles in 2021, and in 2022 Isabel and her father walked up two of the three highest peaks in Wales, before the trip had to be cut short.

    “We started planning when Isabel was nine but then Covid happened, and we had to delay it for a year. Isabel had connected the Shetland Islands with Shetland ponies, which is how we ended up doing the first challenge,” said Rich.

    “When I realised it was a 12-hour ferry ride I thought we might have made a mistake. We walked 10 miles a day for 10 days, finishing on Isabel’s 11th birthday. The plan was to do one big challenge then a smaller one the next year, so we stayed a bit more local with the Wales trip, which unfortunately had to be abandoned two thirds of the way through.

    “Isabel came up with the idea of visiting all of the Redwings visitor centres this year, and as we’ve done a walk and a hike we decided on a cycle – the next one will probably be a swim.”

    Redwings head of fundraising Debbie Scott said what Isabel is doing is “just brilliant” and the charity could not be more grateful for the support.

    “Redwings is entirely funded through generous donations, and we couldn’t do any of the work we do to help horses, ponies, donkeys and mules who need us without our amazing Redwings angels,” she said.

    “We’ll be giving Isabel, Rich and Dave a big welcome at our visitor centres when they arrive and we’d love our supporters to come and cheer them on too – keep checking Redwings social media to find out more.”

    To support Isabel visit her JustGiving page.

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