The Historical Background
In March 1603, on the death of Queen Elizabeth I, Sir Robert Carey, courtier, soldier and a member of what is now called Her Majesty’s Body Guard of the Honourable Corps of Gentlemen at Arms, rode from London to Edinburgh to give the news to her heir, James VI of Scotland. Carey made the journey in three days. James VI subsequently became James I of England and unified the English and Scottish thrones.
Ewen Cameron and Neil Cross propose to repeat Carey’s ride between 25-28 March 2011.
Carey would have galloped up the compacted earth of the Great North Road, much of which is now motorway. We will take an alternative route, trotting up minor roads and where possible cantering up green lanes and bridleways along the 400+ mile route. As cantering on tarmac damages horses legs we will be limited to a trot on metalled roads and we do not believe that it is now reasonably possible to complete the ride in three days. Our aim is to do so within four days. However, fundraising not speed is the driver of this project.
To put the challenge into perspective, the longest competitive endurance event in the UK is a one day ride of 100 miles.
Horses are being provided the length of the route by supporters of the Great North Ride. We plan to change mounts every five miles and will use a total of some 160 horses to get to Edinburgh. To save time we will move from saddle to saddle without dismounting.
Raising Money for Two Military Charities
The Great North Ride aims to raise funds for two different but complementary military charities, one with a national reach, the other more local:
The UK’s leading military charity specialising in the care of veterans’ mental health. The charity is currently undertaking a £30 million fundraising appeal to extend the reach of its core provision and improve its infrastructure in response to a greatly increased demand for its services as a result of military operations.
The Light Dragoons is an armoured reconnaissance regiment which recruits in Yorkshire and the North East. Engaged in 2009 in a particularly demanding deployment in Afghanistan they are now preparing to return there early in 2012. The purpose of the Light Dragoons Colonel's Appeal is to give enduring support to Light Dragoons wounded on operations or in regimental service, to their families and to the families of those killed in the line of duty.
It is possible to donate by cheque, credit or debit card. Cheques to The Great North Ride can be sent to The Great North Ride Office, GTC West Street, Fontmell Magna, Shaftesbury, Dorset SP7 0PF. If you are a UK taxpayer we can reclaim the tax paid through the giftaid scheme. Please print and fill in the form and post with your donation. On-line credit and debit card payments can be made through the security of the Just Giving Page. If you would like to receive copies of our leaflet which also carries donation details please telephone 01747 810350 or email firstname.lastname@example.org