Epic trek to raise funds for charity

SAM SACHDEVA
Last updated 05:00 23/02/2013
Peter Langford
DON SCOTT
KINDNESS OF LOCALS: Peter Langford and his horses at Grasmere Station as he heads towards Mount White Station, crossing the upper Waimakariri River.

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A former Brit is taking two horses on a cross-country trek across New Zealand to raise money for charity.

Peter Langford is riding more than 2500 kilometres from Bluff to Cape Reinga with one horse to ride on and another to carry his equipment.

Langford rode horses as a child in the UK and renewed his love when he came to New Zealand nearly 10 years ago.

He decided to pursue his dream of riding across the country after losing both his job and his house.

"I thought it was now or never, if I was going to do it, it may as well be now."

Langford's website, freewitheveryhorse.com, includes links to donate to a range of air rescue charities.

After six months of planning, Langford started his journey in Bluff in November and had been using local expertise to figure out the best route.

"‘I'm absolutely relying on local knowledge: when I get to a station, I speak to the guys there and they're really helpful."

He had encountered some difficulties along the way, including when his horse hit a patch of quicksand while crossing the Rakaia River.

"There have been days when I wonder what the hell I'm doing . . . but then you get a good night's sleep and you're ready to go again."

The kindness of locals had made the journey easier, he said.

"People have put me up in their spare room and a couple of times, I've even gone on my way with a packed lunch in the morning - people have been so welcoming."

Langford said he hoped to arrive in Cape Reinga by late May or early June.

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- The Press

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