On Sunday 28thApril, The Hedgehogs of Farnham held their second Frensham Sponsored Horse Ride (FSHR). Despite the huge success of the 2018 event, the organising committee were concerned that new vaccination requirements – due to the equine flu outbreak at the beginning of this year – would have an impact on entries.
However, these fears fortunately proved unfounded, the ride attracting nearly 450 horse and rider combinations who travelled to Frensham from all over the southeast. Rider numbers significantly beat the organisers’ original projections and the weather conditions were ideal for the Riders and Horses, with sunshine and ambient temperature during the day.
The 2019 ride incorporated changes to the route with additional jumps held over 10 miles across both public and private land. Featuring a varied route through woodland, bridlepaths and, of course, the natural beauty of Frensham Common, the FSHR wouldn’t be the same without the continuing support of all the private landowners, Waverley Borough Council and the National Trust.
The start courtyard offered food stands aplenty, where riders and support staff were able to enjoy soft drinks, cakes and grilled meats as well as gin, wine and a beer tent. Additionally, there were retail outlets stocked with equine goods from tack outlets and receive conditioning tips from fitness Instructor.
The ride raised over £10,000, which will go towards a number of local charities and organisations. Bob Hockey, co-chair of the organising committee, commented: “The sum raised could not have been achieved without the support and generosity of FSHR’s key sponsors, Farnham Estates and MJK Utility Infrastructure Solutions, in addition to a number of local businesses who very kindly purchased jump sponsor banners.”
On the day itself, the Hedgehogs were also supported by its band of over 110 volunteers who acted as jump, road, track and administration stewards.
Feedback from riders has been very positive, not only in respect of the ride itself, but additionally the start courtyard and volunteers on the day. One happy attendee commented: “It was really well run. There were so many helpers, all so friendly! I do hope you made loads of money for your charities. Many thanks for a lovely day out. Thanks also to the farrier, Simon Wright, for popping a nail on our shoe. He wouldn’t accept any money and said pop something in the charity bucket (which we did). Everyone concerned with this event deserves a pat on the back”
The Hedgehogs will shortly commence planning of the FSHR 2020 and hope to introduce other features to the event.
For details on the FSHR visit the Frensham Sponsored Horse Ride 2019 Facebook page or frenshamSHR.org. For further information on The Hedgehogs, visit the-hedgehogs.org.uk