Saintfield’s ready to host festive gathering of fundraising Santas

Santa on his way followed by hundreds of riders on horseback

Horse riding Santas get your gear out, it is almost that time of year again, the annual Saintfield Christmas Charity ride now in its eleventh year.

And organiser Joan Cunningham, with a dedicated team of equine enthusiasts, will ensure the event, the only one of its kind in Ireland and throughout the British Isles, will be as good if not better than any witnessed in this historic market town in the past.

Saintfield Christmas Charity Ride organiser Joan Cunningham, Bree Rutledge and of course Santa himself pictured with Agriculture Journalist Michael Drake, MBE, Alastair McIlveen, North Down Marquees, sponsors, and popular Co Down artist Leo Casement, in the White Horse Inn, Saintfield before planning this year's mammoth event.

“Yes we are getting into the final furlong for our event which brings hundreds of people to the town for the day and is a memorable occasion for both young and old,” states Joan.

“We are only a few short weeks to the ‘big’ day, December 2nd, so it is time for all those who intend participating to get their gear out and their animals prepared.

“Everyone remarks about how spectacular the event it, and make no doubt about it around 200 Santas on horseback is not something you see any day of the year.

“So come to Saintfield and you will see a sight to behold as these dedicated horsemen and horsewomen give their time and their equestrian talents for a worth-while charity.

“The arrival time is the same as in other years.

“But we would advise all participants to come early to register their entries and then take part in a seasonal reception, around 11am, when mulled wine and mince pies will be the order of the day.”

The entry fee for the rides will be adults £20 and children £10 and this will cover the mulled wine reception and the lunch to follow the ride.

Entrance to the marquee is free and adults wishing to have lunch but not wishing to participate in the ride will have the opportunity of making a donation while their child/children dine for free.

Joan adds: “All this takes much time and effort to make the day the success it has been over the past ten years.

“But I must pay tribute to all who contribute to it…. people like our sponsors, North Down Marquees who have been faithful sponsors for many years, Brian and Geoffrey Murphy for generously granting us the use of Saintfield Livestock Mart for the occasion and of course the good people of Saintfield and the wider area for their involvement too.”

For further details contact Joan Cunningham(028)97519030 or 07775860744 or email joancunningham1@gmail.com or w.w.w.saintfieldhorseshow/ saintfieldchristmascharityride.com.

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