Vet loses two stone so her homebred mare has less to carry — on 600-mile epic trek

  • A vet who has been moved by others’ endeavours and kindness during the pandemic is to travel the length of the country on her homebred mare.

    Kate McMorris, of Seadown Veterinary Services in the New Forest, will be riding quarter horse Marilyn from John O’Groats to Land’s End in aid of two charities, starting her journey on World Vet Day, 30 April.

    The challenge is the fulfilment of a 30-year ambition for Kate, who as a vet student rode her pony Sam 200 miles from Halifax to Hadrian’s Wall.

    “The ride was challenging and it rained solidly for five of the nine days, but she loved it and vowed to ride the length of the UK, one day,” a Seadown spokesman said.

    Kate is to share her insights into the wellbeing of Marilyn, and herself, along the way.

    “The recent pandemic era has also made me realise that life is short,” she said. “We never know what is around the corner.

    “Like many, I’ve been moved by inspiring stories of human endeavour and wonderful kindness, across the country during Covid, and it’s stirred me to see what I might also do to help those charities near and dear to me.

    “I have long been aware that it is the contact with animals, whether it is my horses, cats, dog, even the chickens, that gives me peace and amusement in my hectic life. And I want to help others do the same.”

    Kate’s ride will raise money for Pets as Therapy, a national charity that tries to give everyone access to animal companionship.

    picture by Ali Large

    “Vetlife is another charity that is close to my heart,” said Kate. “They provide a helpline, along with financial and health support to vets, who have one of the highest suicide rates of the professions. They gave me and my staff amazing support through a difficult time at the practice a few years ago and I would like to raise funds for them so they can continue to help others.”

    Kate has been taking Marilyn to “lots of different places” to ensure she is not stressed by staying somewhere different every night on the journey.

    “She has had physio/osteo, farrier, dentist, saddle-fitter and dentist appointments,” she added. “And we are increasing her exercise, both strengthening with schooling and lunging as well as riding longer distances. We will then be introducing more hill work and hope to visit a water treadmill frequently.

    “For myself, I am having dentist, optician and podiatry appointments! I have lost two stone so far so Marilyn has less to carry, and we bought a treadmill so I could increase the amount of time I walk, even when it is dark outside.

    “What could be more appropriate than setting myself an immense challenge, while raising funds for these great causes? Please do follow me and share my journey. And if you are moved by my quest and ravings along the way, it would be so appreciated if you’d make a kind donation via JustGiving. Thank you so much.”

    You might also be interested in:

    Horse & Hound magazine, out every Thursday, is packed with all the latest news and reports, as well as interviews, specials, nostalgia, vet and training advice. Find how you can enjoy the magazine delivered to your door every week, plus options to upgrade your subscription to access our online service that brings you breaking news and reports as well as other benefits.

    You may like...