Saddleworth hosts Horse 4 health Relay event

Being part of the inaugural Health for Horses Relay was a fantastic way to celebrate our beloved horses, acknowledge how they’ve helped us through the past year and the impact they have on our mental health.  Getting involved offered our participants and volunteers a new and exciting experience, whilst supporting H4H’s other initiatives, to promote riding road safety and raise funds for 7 wonderful equine charities (including RDA).  

We decided to hold our first ever Countryside Challenge as the main event and contacted H4H organiser Sophie Gifford. She opened her black book of contacts and very soon we had Naylors sponsoring the Countryside Challenge prizes, BETA’s mechanical horse “RoboCob”, goodie bags and even Greater Manchester Mounted Police were on board!

Our community really came together to support us; Tesco provided refreshments, volunteers and families baked delicious cakes, the village pub provided sandwiches, Pony Club loaned us equipment and a reporter came from the paper to raise awareness of H4H and RDA.  A local Championship level circuit judge kindly volunteered to judge riders and present prizes. 

Sheila Saner, Greater Manchester County Chair was a fantastic support and supervised riders on the mechanical horse as we didn’t have any experience of this.  The majority of our riders had never experienced a canter but all of them cantered on RoboCob and the smiles were HUGE!  With Sheila’s guidance our coaching team could see the advantages of using a simulator alongside real ponies and we’re now exploring whether buying our own is an option. 

After two weeks of glorious weather, typically the heavens opened and our Countryside Challenge in the outdoor arena was a very soggy one but the whole place was buzzing! Having multiple ‘zones’ with things to do, see and eat resulted in a brilliant day for everyone and we raised £545 for Health for Horses. 

We obviously had to adapt our plans to meet covid regulations with staggered arrival times etc but this took nothing away from the day. We’d highly recommend it to other groups and if anyone wants to ask us anything we’d be delighted to help! 

Contact Alison Pickering at: 

Page Last Updated: July 22, 2021