Third time lucky as Saintfield Santa ride proves a great success

Eight year old Tanya McGoran on Izzy with  Bronagh Munro and Una McGoran on Sally

Eight year old Tanya McGoran on Izzy with Bronagh Munro and Una McGoran on Sally

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After having to postpone twice due to wet and windy weather the annual Saintfield Christmas Charity Ride proved a smashing hit on Saturday when a bright, dry and sunny day put everyone in the mood for Christmas.

Santas arrived from all over the country to enjoy the mulled wine and mince pie reception before mounting up at noon to make their way to Saintfield town.

Albert Lowry, Joan Cunningham and Megan Dunn (Side saddle) leading the ride

Albert Lowry, Joan Cunningham and Megan Dunn (Side saddle) leading the ride

Santa himself led the way in one of Fawcett’s magnificent carriages driven by Alex Fawcett.

Everything burst into life when the ride came over Todd’s Hill. Saintfield Main Street was lined with well-wishers. The atmosphere was electric and Christmas music rang out throughout the town. Terence McKeag welcomed all the Santas at the Christmas tree before they eventually made their way back to the mart for lunch and a Christmas party.

Organiser Joan Cunningham said: “I would like to thank the sponsors, the whole team who worked so hard, PSNI who were absolutely amazing, the media, all the Santas who made it possible and every last person who helped in any way.

“I would wish everyone a very merry Christmas and a peaceful 2016.”

Arriving in saintfield

Arriving in saintfield

Anna McErlean on Lilly and Sarah Heron on Snow Flake

Anna McErlean on Lilly and Sarah Heron on Snow Flake

A large crowd greets the riders in Saintfield

A large crowd greets the riders in Saintfield

Joan Cunningham (Ride Organiser) with from left Alastair McIlveen (North Down Marquees) Councillor Billy Walker, Councillor Robert Burgess, Robert McCarthy and Councillor Terry Andrews.

Joan Cunningham (Ride Organiser) with from left Alastair McIlveen (North Down Marquees) Councillor Billy Walker, Councillor Robert Burgess, Robert McCarthy and Councillor Terry Andrews.

Joan Cunningham (Ride Organiser) with Alastair McIlveen (North Down Marquees) and far right Ian Hasson (Rock Ministries) with the Prize winners of the best dressed Santa's

Joan Cunningham (Ride Organiser) with Alastair McIlveen (North Down Marquees) and far right Ian Hasson (Rock Ministries) with the Prize winners of the best dressed Santa's