THE FOUNDER of the charity Horses4Health has been discovering the wonderful countryside of Mid Wales and Shropshire as part of The Great Horses for Health Event.

Sophie Gifford and her friend Ali Lock rode their horses, Jack and Fil, 70 miles in six days covering a section of Glyndwr’s Way in Mid Wales before crossing the border into Shropshire along the Jack Mytton Way. The ride has already raised almost £700 and is growing daily. 

They used Brandy Farm, a tourism and equine holidays business at Felindre, near Knighton, as the base for the start of her ride from June 26 to July 1, which raised money for UK equine charities.

“Our husbands joined us as ground crew, dropping us at safe starting points and picking us up to return to base each night,” said Sophie. “They both then took the opportunity to enjoy their own sporting activities of golf and road cycling, marvelling at the beauty and abundance of terrain and courses they could enjoy whilst staying at Brandy House Farm.” 

Horses4Health is a not-for-profit initiative that aims to promote the positive impact horses can have on mental and physical health, while raising money for charities supporting equine and human welfare.

The Great Horses for Health Event runs for 70 days until August 28 and encourages riders, carriage drivers, long-reiners and in-hand leaders to celebrate their horses and the positive impact they have on their own health.

They also get to meet a new group of like-minded people, whilst enjoying the beautiful countryside.

Sophie founded Horses4Health – www.horses4health.co.uk – in the 2020 pandemic lockdown to recognise the love, enjoyment and health benefits associated with owning a horse.

Horses4Health’s lead charity is HorseWorld Trust and it also has a strong association with Riding for the Disabled. In addition to raising funds for both these charities, Horses4Health also operates a grant programme for registered UK equine charities who can apply for up to £1,000 funding.

With more than 10,500 members in its Facebook Group and partnerships with key organisations, such as SEIB Insurance, BHS, British Equestrian Trade Association and Equine Exceed, Sophie and the HorseWorld Trust team have been able to marshal a nation of horse lovers. HRH Duchess of Cornwall is their patron for a second consecutive year.

Medina Brock, who runs Brandy House Farm, Felindre, Knighton with her husband, Richard, said:” It is an absolute pleasure to support Horses4Health and all they do and have done.

“We loved having Sophie and Ali, their lovely horses Jack and Fil and of course the back-up team, Andrew and Andrew, too and wish them all the best of luck with their onward journeying.”

Brandy House Farm – www.brandyhousefarm.co.uk – is tourism business that provides cottage accommodation, POD camping, glamping and wild camping.

The business encourages customers to bring their horses with them on holiday, as it offers on-site DIY livery, nine stables and individual turnout paddocks.

Brandy House Farm is a member of MWT Cymru, an independent company representing more than 600 tourism and hospitality businesses across Powys, Ceredigion and Southern Snowdonia.