Second group ride remembers Ora Holt
FRIENDS, family, and North East community members will join together for the second Ora Holt Memorial Trail Ride from Freeburgh to Wandiligong on Saturday, December 1.
The community ride, walk, or run is held in honour of Ora Holt, who grew up in the Alpine region and died in April 2017 leaving her four young children orphaned.
The ride, organised by the 4 Kids and Carers Future Foundation, will raise money through donations, auctions and raffles for the support and ongoing care of her children and grandparents who now look after them.
Ora Holt grew up on the Freeburgh caravan park her parents ran, and from a young age she and her sisters learnt to ride horses with their close neighbours, the Webster family.
Back then, the Websters used to run trail rides around the area and Ora and her sisters would ride along.
Despite the trail rides having long ceased, a few years ago Ora telephoned her old neighbour Pat Webster from her home in Wangaratta wanting to reunite some of the riders from her younger days.
The result was the revival of the annual ‘Wandi Pub Ride’ held around December each year, which reached Wandiligong from Freeburgh via the Reliance Track over the ridge that separates the towns.
In the November before her death, Ora led the ride on one of Pat Webster’s horses, alongside some of her old friends from the area. Speaking with the Alpine Ob
server, Pat Webster said Ora was wonderful at bringing people together.
“She was an amazing woman, absolutely amazing, very good at community services, bringing people together like she did with us, and a great organiser,” Ms Webster said.
“The ride is very heartfelt to everybody. And the people that come on that day are all there for her memory, so the tales that go around are quite extraordinary as well.”
Long-time family friend Fran Bentley has helped organise this year’s ride on behalf of the 4 Kids and Carers Future Foundation, and is hoping about 100 people, including 30 on horseback, will raise $5000.
Her daughter was a good friend of Ora’s back when they were at school together in Bright, and has known Ora’s parents since they moved to the Alpine region.
In one sense, she said, the ride is a continuation of what Ora had already started, yet now it is held in her honour, and fundraises for her children.
This year the ride will finish at the Wandiligong Maze for a barbecue lunch.
Ms Bentley said the feeling of the ride is generally happy and fun, because “we like to keep it how Ora would have liked it,” yet admitted it will be an emotional day, especially for those who had done the ride previously with Ora.
The ride and the 4 Kids and Carers Foundation seek to raise awareness of family violence more broadly.
The ride will leave from the Freeburgh Community Hall at 9.45am on Saturday, December 1 and travel up over the Reliance Track to the Wandiligong Maze where lunch and drinks will be available for purchase from 11.30am.
The ride will also be open to runners and walkers.
People are welcome to join in the lunch and fundraising even if they don’t participate in the ride/ run/walk.
For more information contact Fran Bentley on 0417 435 139.
RIDING ON: Horse riders pause for a break on the inaugural Ora Holt Memorial Ride last year between Freeburgh and Wandiligong.