THE fight against cancer has taken to the horse’s back, with a group of riders arriving in Tamworth at the weekend on a 2545-kilometre journey across Victoria, NSW and Queensland.
The inaugural Horse Ride for Cancer left Mildura, Victoria, on August 12 and is scheduled to finish at Redland Bay in Queensland on October 20, raising funds along the way for Cancer Council NSW.
Co-ordinator Chris Bratton came up with the idea over drinks one night and said it stemmed from his love and passion for horses, and a desire to do something a bit “extreme and different”.
Mr Bratton drives the float and cooks for the team, which includes himself and two full-time riders, Gavin Peacock and Monique Newson.
Along the way other people have joined in for short spurts, all committed to raising at least $50 each per day.
By the time the trek ends, 219 people would have ridden along the journey – but Mr Bratton is also searching for a volunteer to share the driving duties.
All funds raised will go to the Cancer Council and Mr Bratton estimates about $65,000 has been generated so far.
While it is the first time Mr Bratton has undertaken such an epic journey with horses, he hasn’t struck any nasty surprises.
“We’ve had our good days, we’ve had our bad days,” Mr Bratton said.
“I didn’t think it would be easy and it hasn’t been, but it’s about what I expected it to be like.”
A month-and-a-half into the journey, Mr Bratton said getting all the necessary permits and getting the trip organised were the biggest hurdles he’d faced.
The trek is “dead on schedule”, he said, averaging a distance of 50 kilometres a day.
Every six days the team stops for a couple of days to get the horses checked out and to let them rest.
The team will leave Tamworth today and continue heading north towards Texas.
For more information or to donate, visit horserideforcancer.com.au