The first of our 2013 fun rides was a great success, with 88 riders in early April enjoying a route around the Burton Constable estate near Hull, thanks to the family and trustees of the estate and to neighbouring farmers. The on-site café provided an excellent spread for lunch, eaten in the appropriate surroundings of the grand former indoor school and stables. Riders’ enthusiastic comments included “Thank you for a lovely day today, weather was spot on and the scenery was perfect” and “it was my first funride and there will now be many more to follow. Superb!”
Unfortunately we had to cancel the Swaledale ride in early May because the poor weather meant we couldn’t get over to check the route, but we’ve re-scheduled it for August – see below.
· Join us on Sunday June 16th for a ride using long stretches of the Pennine Bridleway in the south of the Yorkshire Dales National Park: there are two route options of 11 and 7 miles, both with views of the magnificent Dales landscapes. We’re partnering with the local NSPCC group for this ride, and the funds raised will be split between the NSPCC and Ride Yorkshire. The start venue is the pretty Dales village of Clapham.
· On Saturday July 6th we’ve our first funride in the North York Moors National Park. The venue is a farm high up in beautiful Bransdale, and at the top part of the route there’s nothing between you and the Ural mountains thousands of miles to the east! This route takes in some of the wild hill country of the Moors, but marshals from Helmsley & District Rotary Club will be on hand at strategic points around the route. They’re helping us raise funds for local charity Ryedale Special Families as well as for the Ride Yorkshire Foundation.
· Sunday August 4th sees us back in the Yorkshire Dales National Park, this time in the north-western area of Swaledale. The ride is partly through the Gunnerside Estate and we’re pleased to be working with the land managers here to run the ride just before the grouse-shooting season starts. The start venue is near the village of Gunnerside. Volunteers from the Leeds UNICEF group are helping with the food and marshalling for this event.
· On Sunday September 29th we’ve planned a ride in the tranquil countryside between Beverley and Driffield, in the East Riding – and we’re delighted to have been invited onto the Castle Howard estate for a ride in late October.
· For booking forms for all our routes, see http://www.rideyorkshire.org/Events or email firstname.lastname@example.org – the forms are also on RidingDiary (http://www.ridingdiary.co.uk) about a month before each ride. Your entry fee includes lunch, tea/coffee and a rosette, as well as clear route directions, maps, and waymarked routes – and plenty of friendly company! Keep in touch via our Facebook page, Twitter and website newsfeed for details.
The first of many people booked in for riding holidays over the summer have just finished their three-day break in the Howardian Hills and we’re looking forward to their feedback. All the indications are that they had a great time. Our holidays are tailor-made for your requirements – let us know where you’d like to go, when and for how long. We’re also very pleased to hear that people are making their own arrangements via the Ride Yorkshire website for accommodation and riding routes.
In the last couple of months we’ve uploaded more circular routes in the East Riding – around South Dalton and Wassand – to the website. Altogether there are 11 circular day-rides around Yorkshire now available for free download – and there will soon be more, for instance a circular route around Bolton Castle: we’re very grateful to Ken Miller for producing the directions for these. We’re always pleased to get feedback on the routes, so please let us know if there’s anything in the directions that needs adjusting – and also if you’ve enjoyed riding them!
Sponsorship and funding
One of the riding centres we work with is Burnby Equestrian Centre, near Pocklington in East Yorkshire. Owner Sue Bargate has kindly sponsored one of our most popular downloadable routes – the ‘Huggate Circular’ – which runs through 10 miles of the glorious Wolds landscape, including those dramatic chalk valleys which make you feel like you’re in the Wild West. Burnby are also starting to offer hacks in the Wolds, using routes tried and tested by Ride Yorkshire, as well as regular riding and jumping lessons. Sue and her team are wonderful confidence-givers, so if you’re a bit nervous or haven’t ridden for a while, this is an excellent place to ease back into things – and then move on to riding out or even local competitions. Contact Sue through http://www.burnbyequestriancentre.co.uk or on 07974 506929, or via their Facebook page.
Our long association with the Coast, Wolds, Wetlands and Waterways LEADER programme – an EU-funded scheme run through Defra – finished at the end of May as their programme winds down. Without the support of the LEADER team and funding since March 2011, it’s doubtful that Ride Yorkshire would have been such a success: they’ve been responsible for supporting our project workers in East Yorkshire (Catherine Fairburn and Naomi Ainley) as they researched the routes now available on the website, for contributing to the Ride Yorkshire website itself, for helping to promote our funrides and other work, and for underwriting some of our outreach work with disadvantaged groups. These funds (and other external funding) have added to the pro-bono work of Janet Cochrane and Robin Chapman, Kate and Ian Dashper and John Yeomans to build Ride Yorkshire over the last two years. We look forward to working with the ‘son of LEADER’ programme due to start in 2015.
Riding for All
A group of 8 children from the Burley Park Centre in Leeds, whose pupils often have emotional and behavioural difficulties, spent a day in the Yorkshire Dales National Park in early May, including a ride at the Kilnsey Trekking Centre. Their teacher wrote to us afterwards to say “What a fantastic time we had at Kilnsey yesterday. I was extremely impressed with the staff there – they gave the kids a great experience. Their manner with the pupils was superb and they showed great flexibility in reacting to our pupils’ needs and abilities. At the end of the session we were lucky enough to be able to watch a blacksmith at work which totally absorbed the kids and we then had a picnic down by the river. A terrific day enjoyed by staff and pupils alike – thank you so much for arranging it.” In mid-May 14 teenagers from the South Leeds Academy started a series of lessons at Acrecliffe Equestrian Centre, near Otley, which will include other elements such as visiting the Northern Racing College: this programme is part of an introduction to a career in the equestrian world for them. We’ll report back on this in the next newsletter.
Riding & Trekking Centres
Yorkshire has a wealth of riding and trekking centres to help everyone enjoy our wonderful rural areas, whether you have your own horse or not. We often get calls or emails asking about where to ride or a suitable place for a gift (usually for a girlfriend or mother) and we’re always happy to advise on the best places according to riding ability. For people wanting seriously to engage in our wonderful sport (or is it a hobby? Perhaps both!) we suggest having regular lessons at a riding school interspersed with hacking out from trekking centres. All the centres we recommend and put on our website are licenced by the local authority, and many have additional levels of accreditation from the British Horse Society or Association of British Riding Schools.
Spreading the Word
We’ve had some nice new leaflets about Ride Yorkshire printed, and we’ll soon be doing a mail-out to livery yards all over Yorkshire and beyond so that they can pin them to their noticeboards. If you keep your horse at a yard or know of one, do please send us their postal address – and if possible an email address too. We also send this newsletter to livery yards but it’s often hard to find their contact details. If your local tack shop or feed shop would display the leaflets, just let us know and we’ll pop some in the post.f