Saturday, 24 November 2007

New route to attract more entries for Golden Horseshoe endurance ride

THERE will be a new look to the route of the annual Wessex Golden Horseshoe endurance ride on Exmoor next year.
Riders will be able to take in the Doone Valley, Cheriton Ridge, and the tough uphill haul at Robbers Bridge.
Organising committee chairman Barbara Wigley, who lives near Wheddon Cross, said: “Parts of this new route have not been used for the Golden Horseshoe for some years and we think it will attract new riders as well as our regulars.”
The venue has again been moved from the Auction Field, at Exford, to a larger and more open and easily accessible site 400 yards away at the top of Church Hill.
Mrs Wigley said the new site was well-drained and had excellent views of the start and finish of the course.
She said changes were needed to raise the event’s profile in as many ways possible, to attract sponsorship and public involvement on a wider scale.
Local businesses had been approached to take trade stands, including country crafts, confectionary, toiletries (equine and human), and endurance equipment.
The ride has also received a grant from Exmoor National Park Authority’s sustainable development fund.
There are four competitive classes – The Exmoor Golden Horseshoe, The Exmoor Stag, The Exmoor Experience, and The Exmoor Eighty.
In addition, a ‘Pleasure Ride’ will again be held on the Sunday morning to raise money for the Moorland Mousie Trust.
More than £1,000 was raised for the trust from this year’s ride.
A group of Exmoor ponies from the Exmoor Pony Centre, near Dulverton, will take part in the pleasure ride, and there will be a stand at the venue with information about the work carried out for the rare breed.
The 2008 Golden Horseshoe ride will take place from May 11 to 13.

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