Cheltenham horse lover riding around England for charity
DETERMINED William Reddaway is not horsing around when he said he plans to ride his trusty steed around the country for charity.
Mr Reddaway, from Cheltenham, aims to ride his horse Strider more than 2,500 miles around England over seven months to raise a total of £250,000.
As he makes his way to all four corners of the country, he will visit 30 cathedrals along the way, playing his trumpet to mark his arrival.
The 65-year-old will set off on his epic journey from his former workplace at Farncombe Estate, near Broadway, on May 11.
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He is taking on the fundraising challenge in aid of The Family Holiday Association, which provides holidays for families in need, and Wormwood Scrubs Pony Centre, which supports vulnerable people by teaching them to ride horses.
Mr Reddaway also plans to raise £5,000 for Cotswold Riding for the Disabled, which is based at Cheltenham Racecourse.
He said: "The challenge for me is to ride a horse across the country to four corners of England, going through towns and cities, visiting 30 cathedrals and abbeys on the way.
"I want to make enough noise to raise that £250,000, so I am learning to play the trumpet and training Strider to get used to the noise.
"If you ride through the middle of a city to its cathedral, blowing a trumpet, it's bound to attract attention.
"The cathedral is the one thing in a town exactly where it was 800 to 1,000 years ago, and until a century ago towns were full of horses. It's a fabulous way to travel and a historic one."
Mr Reddaway, one of the founders of the adult learning programme at the Cotswold Conference Centre, had hoped to start the fundraiser last year, but was foiled by the weather.
He has already raised nearly £20,000 and secured a police escort through London, where he will be staying with the Household Cavalry.
Training for the tough challenge started some time ago for both Mr Reddaway and Strider.
He has been working on his fitness and increasing the amount of riding he does, while Strider has been getting used to roads, traffic lights and bridleways.
The duo's first and last cathedral will be Gloucester and Mr Reddaway also hopes to pop in to Tewkesbury Abbey.
For details and to sponsor the duo visit www.rideroundengland.org