Plans for annual Saintfield Christmas charity Santa ride underway

The 2022 Saintfield Christmas charity ride was launched in style in the magnificent grounds of Rowallane Garden, Saintfield kindly hosted by the National Trust.

Guests arrived and were welcomed by ride organiser Joan Cunningham.

The ride which is strictly a hack is now into its 16th year and will take place on Saturday 3rd December.

All proceeds from the Rrde will go to the amazing work being done in Uganda through the Kulama Village Project.

Guests and sponsors at the launch of the 2022 Saintfield Christmas charity ride at Rowallane Garden, Saintfield

This is an opportunity for everyone to take part or simply enjoy what is Ireland's largest equestrian charity event.

The spectacular Christmas extravaganza begins at 11am when the Santas will arrive at Andrew's yard 50, Lisburn Road, Saintfield for a mulled wine and mince pie reception.

Throughout the day prizes will be presented to the best dressed Santas in all age groups.

At 12 noon sharp the Santas will mount up and head up the Old Belfast Road.

Megan Hamil, Santa, and Ashleigh Kirkpatrick

Arriving in Saintfield town at approximately 1.15pm.

The Santas will be led by the 'Real Santa' in Angelo Kane's magnificent horse-drawn carriage.

As the swarms of Santas invade Saintfield they will be welcomed by crowds of well wishers. Christmas music will ring out throughout the town from the fabulous Hugo Duncan, Boxcar Brian and Gerard Dornan who will have been busy entertaining everyone until the arrival of Santa Claus himself followed by a multitude of Santas on horseback.

To the absolute delight of everyone Santa will alight from his carriage at the Christmas tree in the middle of the town to meet and greet all the children.

Joan Cunningham, ride organiser and Karen McKnight, Phoenix Gas

Finally the cortege will continue up through Saintfield and back to Andrews Yard.

Ride organiser Joan Cunningham would like to give a special thank you to Marcus McVeigh (McVeigh Contracts), Prime Car wash and Gordon Andrews for the use of the yard.

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

Entries are being taken online now at www.saintfieldhorseshow.com/christmascharityrid, enquiries to Joan Cunningham 07775860744 or email [email protected]

Frankie and Derek Spencer, Ruth Morrison and Richard Lyttle
One of Ireland's top equestrian artists Leo Casement presents Joan Cunningham with a fabulous painting to be sold to raise money for the Kulama Uganda Project
Pius Kulama and Joan Cunningham, ride organiser, at the launch of the 2022 Saintfield Christmas Charity ride at Rowallane Garden, Saintfield
Joan Cunningham, ride organiser, Pamela Orr, manager Rowallane Garden, David and Valda McCarter, vice chairman Rowallane and Slieve Croob Community Twinning Group, and Valerie McBride, McBride Fashions
Councillor Robert Burgess and Joan Cunningham, ride organiser, at the launch of the 2022 Saintfield Christmas charity ride at Rowallane Garden, Saintfield