Young riders have raised more than £18,000 for us at a sponsored horse ride and picnic held in the grounds of Bilsington Priory.
More than 100 riders took part in the Inky Dinky Ride, a lead-rein event for riders of any age that are on the lead rein. It was organised in compliance with the Government’s Coronavirus safety guidelines at the time. Riders as young as 20 months took part. The event was organised by Rosalind South, Operations Manager at the Bilsington Priory Estate, and was sponsored by local business, Inky Dinky Saddle, creator of the famous Inky Dinky Saddle designed to keep young riders safe and secure whilst providing peace of mind to the leader.
Rosalind, who has always loved horse riding and who has two young children who took part in the event, said: “I wanted to find a fun way to raise funds for KSS, and came up with the Inky Dinky Ride. Safe places for very young children to experience the joy of horse riding can be hard to find, and we are very grateful to the Bilsington Priory Estate for allowing us to hold our fundraising ride in their beautiful grounds.”
“We had a lot of amazing support from local companies, including Lillicos Country Stores who provided prizes for all the riders and Centreline Equestrian who provided all the jumps for our jumping lane and raffle prizes. But the biggest thanks needs to go to our main sponsor, Jill and Doug Hick of Inky Dinky Saddle, who not only allowed us to use their name and social media to promote our event, but who also supported us on the day and provided the rosettes. With the fabulous support of their friends and clients, they also generously secured prizes for our raffle, which raised over £2,500.”
Rosalind continued: “The Inky Dinky Ride was all about having fun. We all know, though, that horse riding accidents do happen, and that when they do it’s often in remote locations that can only be reached by an air ambulance.”
“This has been a really difficult time for charities like Air Ambulance Kent Surrey Sussex and as a keen horse rider myself, I really wanted to find a way to help. When I suggested KSS as our charity for the Inky Dinky Ride I was so pleased that other friends from the horse riding community agreed. Our event received a great response and I am delighted that we have been able to help KSS to raise much-needed funds.”
Lynne Harris, Executive Director of Income Generation at KSS, said: “We are very grateful to Rosalind South and to everyone who took part in and supported the Inky Dinky Ride.”
“As a registered charity, we are reliant upon public donations and fundraising, and this year we are facing an unprecedented challenge as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic. It costs £14M each year to operate our life-saving service 24/7. Following the cancellation of all of our major fundraising events, and the decision to stop all canvassing activity for our lottery and our planned store collections – prioritising the health and safety of our canvassers, volunteers and the public who support us – we are facing a shortfall of £2.9M. Thanks to the generosity of our supporters we have raised £1.8M but we must raise a further £1.1M to ensure we can continue to save lives.”
“Events like the Inky Dinky Ride provide us with huge encouragement. Over the past 30 years, we have treated more than 30,000 patients with our world-class pre-hospital emergency care. Now more than ever before we need your support to ensure we are here 24/7 for the next 30,000 patients who need us.”