Ride's tally amazes organiser
The aim was to raise $20,000 but when the final figure came through as $46,000 Ride to Recovery organiser Johnny Perkins was lost for words.
The horse trek came after Perkins lost his wife to breast cancer in 2000 and in her memory he wanted to raise money for research and awareness.
At the beginning of last year he began his quest with no more than an idea and in November it all fell into place as 160 riders took to never-before ridden tracks throughout private land in Central Otago.
With the help of a committee, Perkins organised a trek that involved two nights in two wool sheds and two days on horseback.
During the weekend the committee held a raffle, an auction and a band helped all involved dance the night away.
Riders had travelled from as far as Auckland to take part, hiring horses, Perkins said.
''Everybody knows somebody that has been effected by breast cancer,'' he said.
The committee had also received donations from businesses and people - including 20 kilograms of cheese.
At the time Perkins had no idea what they were going to do with so much cheese, but Kiwi ingenuity shone through and more than 2400 cheese rolls later and the committee had made its first $1200.
Many of the riders who took part on the trek were breast cancer survivors themselves and stories of recovery were told.
Perkins said the ride was lucky enough to have Olympic gold medallist rowers Georgina Earl and Caroline Meyer, nee Evers-Swindell, on the ground as supporters and ambassadors.
Breast cancer research was something that every man woman and child in New Zealand should be aware of, he said.
The money would hopefully go towards Breast Cancer research and awareness, he said.
After finishing the trek Perkins headed to Las Vegas for some time out and on his return was met by members of the Breast Cancer Foundation in Auckland.
The Southland Times