Rugged Central horse trek a fitting tribute
Breast cancer fundraiser honours wifeBRIDGET RAILTON
A Gore man is saddling up for the ride of a lifetime - a three-day horse trek across the rugged terrain of Central Otago - and you're invited.
Ride to Recovery will take riders from Clyde to Bannockburn, crossing never-before-ridden tracks on private land on the west side of Lake Dunstan.
Organiser Johnny Perkins is planning the November event as a way to honour his wife Ava, who died of breast cancer in 2000. Mr Perkins said he had a long held wish to do something special to honour his wife's memory and raise money and awareness of the disease.
A three-day horse trek across untouched territory seemed appropriate, he said.
"She was a great horse woman, an event and showjumper, and [was] involved in the Southland Pony Club . . . she loved it."
Mr Perkins spent years mulling the perfect idea before it came to him at the start of this year.
"I rang up a few friends, told them my idea and they all said ‘great, lets go for it'," he said.
The trek, across Earnscleugh and Glen Muir stations, had never been ridden commercially before, he said.
Riders will take the back road over the hills to Bannockburn, and help a good cause along the way.
About 80 riders had so far registered interest in taking part. Numbers would be capped at 150.
Olympic gold medallist rowers Georgina Earl and Caroline Meyer, nee Evers-Swindell, were on the ground as supporters and ambassadors, he said. Money raised through riders' fees, at $150 per person, as well as auctions and raffles and individual sponsorship, would go to charity.
Breast cancer research was something everyone in New Zealand should be aware of, he said.
"Ava always said one day there'd be a cure for breast cancer, hopefully this small act can go towards finding one."
Ride to Recovery 2013 is on November 23, 24 and 25. To register interest or donate, contact Mr Perkins on (03) 206 4570.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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