Kimblewick Hunt hosted the annual Vale of Aylesbury Sponsored Charity Horse Ride event at RAF Halton in March.
The event saw up to 500 horses, riders and foot followers, riding the cross country course situated in and around RAF Halton Estate. The event has considerable historic connection, with this year being the 40th Anniversary of the Hunt using RAF Halton’s land.
RAF Halton supported the event with the Station Commander, Group Captain James Brayshaw, helping to declare the ride open along with the Chairman of the Hunt, Mr Alan Jackson, and the Chairman of the VASR, Mr John Yarroll.
A total of 15 Service Personnel aided the smooth running of the event with Flight Sergeant Phillips, acting as Project Officer, and eight Logistics trainees from Supply Movement Training Wing assisting throughout the day.
The ride opened at 0930 on a chilly Sunday morning with each participant being given an allotted start time, staggered throughout the day. Start times were allocated and monitored by the Course Controller, Mr John Rodgers, Committee Member of the Kimblewick Hunt.
The course covers seven miles, crosses one road twice, with professional traffic controls, and includes approximately 50 cross country fences with a maximum height of two foot six inches and 25 of the fences have bigger or more difficult bonus options for the more advanced rider. The ground varies between tarmac, woodland tracks and well-maintained turf and all the fences are optional with no time penalties. It takes approximately 90 minutes on average but depends on the individual pace each rider sets, with some people taking considerably longer.
Secretary of the Hunt, Mrs Angela Rogers summed up the day, saying: “It was a glorious day with riders of all ages and ability competing. Those riding included members of the RAF Halton Saddle Club, and a group from the King’s Troop, Royal Horse Artillery, members of the Army’s Intelligence Corps Equestrian Team.
“We were ably assisted by a regular group of volunteers who helped with stewarding, administration and refreshments. The Ride was very grateful to RAF Halton for providing an excellent team of RAF personnel to assist us with marshalling the lorries and car parking areas. When funds are finally assessed the VASR donates approximately one third of the profits to local charities (see the web page for recipients); another third to the Station Commander at RAF Halton to distribute to his choice of charities; and a final third to the Kimblewick Hunt who were the founders of the Aylesbury Vale Sponsored Ride.”