Photos Courtesy of Graham Parton
Local ponies and riders joined a sponsored event organised by Gareloch Riding Club as part of the British Horse Society Ride Out UK Month.
A group of three ponies, 12 people and four dogs set off from Milton and headed along the Forth and Clyde Canal towpath to McMonagles floating chippy where they were treated to chips and juice courtesy of the local business.
The Ride Out events, which took place across the UK in May, aim to raise awareness of off-road riding while also raising funds for the British Horse Society’s Path for Communities Fund which helps create multi-user paths across the country.
Susan Dick, secretary of Gareloch Riding Club, explained: “It is important for horses to have off-road riding access in order to prevent the many accidents that happen to horses and their riders on a daily basis.
“I myself have been the victim of a hit and run traffic accident whilst out on my pony and so all the money raised is going to a very worthwhile cause and may prevent the same thing happening to someone else.”
After the McMonagles pit-stop the group rode and walked back to the ponies’ field where they enjoyed a barbecue prepared by Helen and Graham before camping out in the field overnight and then tucked into a delicious breakfast cooked by Graham the next morning.
“The weather was very kind to us and a great time was had by all. We hope to have raised around £200 by the time all money has been collected.”
Susan’s ponies currently face an uncertain future as West Dunbartonshire Council wishes to compulsory purchase the field. She has been running a campaign to highlight their plight and more information is available on her Save Our Field website.
She added: “The people and children involved in our sponsored ride are the ones that come and help to look after the ponies and we’d all like to make a plea for you to help us save the field, please donate what you can to our Just Giving page, all monies will be used towards our fight to save the field.”