Saturday, December 1, is only a few short weeks away when crowds of well wishers will line the streets of Saintfield to watch it become a sea of red when a couple of hundred Santas on horseback swarm the town following closely behind a magnificent horsedrawn carriage with the real Santa onboard.
Riders from all over the province are already starting to get themselves prepared for this annual festive extravaganza.
Organiser Joan Cunningham along with a team of equine enthusiasts will ensure the event, which is believed to be the only one of its kind in Ireland and throughout the British Isles, will be bigger and better than ever.
The Santas will arrive at Saintfield Livestock Mart at 11am for a seasonal reception of mulled wine and mince pies in the marquee.
The entry fee is £20 for adults and £10 for children which includes the mulled wine and mince pie reception and lunch following the ride.
Entrance to the marquee is free and anyone wishing to have lunch can do so for a donation of £5. Children dine free.
And there is extra cause for celebration as Joan explains: “We have a special celebration this year which is the 10th anniversary of North Down Marquees being our major sponsor of the event. This will be the 10th year that they have provided us with a fabulous marquee and all the extras. Alastair McIlveen, from North Down Marquees, will be at the ride on the day to judge the best dressed Santas.
“A special tribute must also be paid to Brian and Geoffrey Murphy for generously granting us the use of their magnificent premises Saintfield Livestock Mart and, of course, all the kind people of Saintfield and the wider area who have generously sponsored or helped in any way.”
For further information contact firstname.lastname@example.org, call 07775 860 744 or visit the website www.saintfieldhorseshow/christmascharityride.com.