Charity ride celebrates 10 years

Event organiser Joan Cunningham leads the santas into Saintfield's Main Street
Event organiser Joan Cunningham leads the santas into Saintfield's Main Street

Saintfield Christmas Charity Ride takes place on Saturday, December 3, and once again will be sponsored by North Down Marquees.

The ride is preparing to celebrate it’s 10th birthday and to mark this very special occasion organiser Joan Cunningham said a magical festive day is being arranged.

The day will commence with Santas from all over the province arriving at Saintfield Livestock Mart at 11am for a mulled wine and mince pie reception.

At noon the Santas will mount their horses and ride into Saintfield town led by the real Santa in his magnificent horse drawn carriage.

At 1pm the Santas will swarm Saintfield Main Street welcomed by crowds of well wishers. Santa will alight from his carriage at the Christmas tree to meet and greet all the children. Live music will ring out throughout the town from Country Harmony and Box Car Brian who will entertain the crowds.

The Santas will then make their way back to the marquee at the Mart for lunch and a special anniversary Christmas party from 2-6pm. There will be live music from Panache, singing, dancing and everyone is welcome to come and enjoy the craic.

Joan organised the first ride in 2007 to raise funds for under-privileged children in Uganda and Rwanda via Rock Ministries N.I. Trust. The Mawamba Choir from Uganda visited Saintfield in 2007 and again in 2009. The choir was made up of children whose parents had either died from aids or had been murdered.

The ride since then has gone from strength to strength and is now famous throughout Ireland. Hundreds of riders from all over the province both north and south of the border dress up as Santa to take part in this most unique and spectacular Christmas event.

Since 2007 many thousands of pounds have been raised.

The ride which is strictly a hack is suitable for all riders. The price for adults is £20 and £10 for children which includes the mulled wine and mince pie reception and lunch following the ride.

Admission to the marquee is free but anyone wishing to have lunch can do so for a donation of £5 for adults, children can have lunch free.

For further details contact Joan Cunningham on 07775 860 744 or joancunningham1@gmail.com website www.saintfieldhorseshow/christmascharityride