Sparkling re­sult from rid­ers marks ruby cel­e­bra­tion

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Charity Course -

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.

Pic­tures: The Gather Pho­tog­ra­phy

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

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