Sparkling result from riders marks ruby celebration
More than 400 horses and riders took part in a special charity ride on Sunday.
Anyone passing through Wye will have been aware of something horsey taking place and, heading out of Wye along the Olantigh Road, seen a large, ruby-coloured arch had been erected.
It highlighted the East Kent Ride, an annual sponsored ride that has now raised over £250,000 for charity since it first began 41 years ago.
This year was the Ruby Ride – the 40th time it had taken place, with just one year lost because of a foot and mouth disease outbreak.
The Ruby Arch was passed through by the riders as they began their 13-mile ride across the countryside, with more than 20 optional jumps.
The ride started when the late Sally Whitehead returned from a trip to the West Country, having witnessed a small sponsored ride.
She said then: “I think we ought to have one!” – and so the ride was established.
The Ruby Ride was organised by a committee of six under the energetic leadership of Ellie Hutchinson.
She and her team secured support from landowners, sponsorship and an army of volunteers.
She said: “We could not do this without our wonderful landowners. Without the Loudons, Swires, Francesconis, Howlands, Staintons and Whites there could be no ride – they have been fabulous.
Thanks to everyone who supported the event and all of the riders, who seemed to return with a smile.
“The main sponsors, estate agents FoxWood Maclean, pro- vided huge support again this year.”
Other sponsors were Milbourn Equine Vets, DWG Scaffolding, which built the arch, East Kent Timber, D. Millen, a professional cross-country jump builder, fencing and agricultural contractor, Jewsons, which provided tons of sand to make sure that the arch stayed erect and The Gather Photography.
The event raised thousands of pounds for the Stroke Association, the Kent MS Therapy Centre and Kent Air Ambulance.
Participants take on a fence in the 40th anniversary Ruby Ride, which started from a specially-built archway
More than 400 horses and riders tackled the 13-mile course