Saintfield Santa ride is launched in spectacular ‘Downton’ style

Santa with Vi Patterson and Lorraine Johnston. From left Derek Spencer, Delia Andrews, Michael Andrews, Rosemary Beare, Seamus Rodgers (Butler) Valerie McBride (McBride Fashions) Diane Gaston, Betty Gaston, Karen Marshall and Adelle Rea.
Santa with Vi Patterson and Lorraine Johnston. From left Derek Spencer, Delia Andrews, Michael Andrews, Rosemary Beare, Seamus Rodgers (Butler) Valerie McBride (McBride Fashions) Diane Gaston, Betty Gaston, Karen Marshall and Adelle Rea.
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Saintfield Christmas Charity Ride was launched in style recently at Rowallane Garden Saintfield kindly hosted by The National Trust. Once again the event took on a Downton Abbey theme.

Ride organiser Joan Cunningham welcomed all the guests and thanked everyone for their continued support of the event, which first started in 2007 to raise funds for “Rock Ministries” to help Ugandan orphans.

From Left:    Megan Dunn, Leo Casement (Equestrian Artist) Ashleigh'Kirkpatrick, Alastair McIlveen (North Down Marquees) and Caroline McMillan

From Left: Megan Dunn, Leo Casement (Equestrian Artist) Ashleigh'Kirkpatrick, Alastair McIlveen (North Down Marquees) and Caroline McMillan

Everyone will gather at Saintfield Livestock Mart on Saturday, December 5, by kind permission of Brian and Geoffrey Murphy, at 11am for a mulled wine and mince pie reception before mounting up and moving out at noon to be in Saintfield Main Street for 1pm.

Main Street will be swarming with Santas on horse back as live Christmas music from Panache will ring out throughout the town to welcome the riders. Crowds of well wishers line the street soaking in the magical atmosphere and enjoy the craic from comedian Terence McKeag.

The “Real Santa” will lead the ride in his magnificent horsedrawn carriage accompanied by celebrity guests. Santa will alight from his carriage at the Christmas Tree to welcome all the children.

Santa and the rider will return to the marquee for lunch where Santa will be taking Christmas lists. There will be more live music and craic. Prizes will be presented to the best dressed Santas and every child 12 and under taking part will receive a prize.

Joan Cunningham (Ride Organiser) centre back with Santa, Lorraine Johnston,Vi Patterson, Alastair McIlveen (North Down Marquees) and Seamus Rodgers (Butler)

Joan Cunningham (Ride Organiser) centre back with Santa, Lorraine Johnston,Vi Patterson, Alastair McIlveen (North Down Marquees) and Seamus Rodgers (Butler)

Admission to the marquee is free but any adult who wishes to have lunch can do so for a donation of £5. Children are free.

The cost of the ride is £20 for adults, children £10, which includes the mulled wine and mince pie reception and lunch on return.

For further information contact Joan Cunningham on (028) 97519030, mobile 07775860744 email joancunningham1@gmail.com go to.

Sponsorship forms can be downloaded from the website www.saintfieldhorseshow/saintfieldchristmascharityride.com.