Johnny's trek ticked off bucket list

EMMA DAWE
Last updated 05:00 25/11/2013
Johnny Perkins
EMMA DAWE/Supplied

Ride to Recovery horse trek organiser Johnny Perkins.

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The hills were alive with the sound of hooves around Central Otago on Saturday when 160 horses and their riders took part in the inaugural Ride to Recovery trek.

The event, which was a fundraiser for the Breast Cancer Foundation, was on the "bucket list" of organiser Johnny Perkins, from Tuturau, for several years after he lost his wife to the disease 10 years ago.

"I always wanted to do a trek around this area and I wanted to raise money for the foundation, so it was a good way of doing both," Mr Perkins said.

The trek was led by Edgar Parcell, from Bannockburn, after Mr Perkins broke his collarbone and wrist two weeks ago in a horse-riding accident so was unable to ride, although he was part of the support crew.

Riders from all over the country took part in the event, including several female and male breast cancer survivors.

With each rider paying $150 to take part in the trek, as well as gathering sponsorship, Mr Perkins had hoped to raise $20,000 for the cause. But that goal was doubled, with $40,000 raised.

The trek began at the Clyde Dam on Saturday morning, where trek ambassadors and former Olympic gold medal rowers Caroline and Georgina Evers-Swindell cut the ribbon before riders made their way to Kawarau Station via Cairnmuir Station.

They stayed at Kawarau Station on Saturday night where there was a meal and a prizegiving.

Hilary and Rex Evans, from Mandeville, won a trip to Doubtful Sound for raising the most money for the cause.

Mr Perkins said the event had gone off like a "military operation" with no hiccups along the way.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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