Horse lovers of all ages and abilities took part in our Midsummer Fun Ride at the weekend.
The glorious weather saw riders from throughout the region loading up their horseboxes and heading for the charity’s Coombe Park Visitor Centre for the eight-mile hack.
The route took them through the beautiful Berry Pomeroy Estate, which opens its gates to the charity for public rides twice a year.
And this year’s Midsummer Ride attracted more than 150 riders, from children on lead reins to endurance riders.
Abby Fearon, riding Indy, (pictured below left) said: “It’s a really lovely ride through the woods and on a day like today it’s perfect. It’s a great atmosphere and everyone has a great time.
“It’s also great for riders of different abilities as you can take it slow, but there’s still places to have a canter.”
The riders left in staggered groups and the event usually raises about £2,500 for the Sanctuary.
The charity has been running two annual group rides every year around the estate – on Valentine’s Day if the ground is good and the closest weekend to the longest day – for the past 10 years.
Rider Ali Bragg is a regular and this year she brought Morgan – one of the charity’s rescue ponies she has had on loan for more than four years. (pictured below left)
She said: “The ride is really well organised and you get to see some truly beautiful countryside. So many places are closed to riders now and it’s lovely to be able to hack around a new area. Morgan thoroughly enjoyed himself.”
Visitor Centre Manager Vanessa Apicella said the ride would not be possible without the help of the Berry Pomeroy Estate.
She added: “We are so grateful to the landowners for allowing us to organise this ride. And it was great to see so many people returning who took part last year.
“It really is a great event and it gives riders the chance to hack out in relative safety, away from main roads. It was also great to see so many children taking part this year. It’s a lovely atmosphere and the horses and ponies seem to enjoy it as much as the riders.”