Published: 17:12, 02 November 2020
| Updated: 17:14, 02 November 2020
Young horseriders have helped raise more than £18,000 for the air ambulance.
More than 100 riders took part in the Inky Dinky Ride, an event held at Bilsington Priory near Ashford for riders of any age that are on the lead rein.
Strictly adhering to Covid guidelines, enthusiasts as young as 20-months-old took turns in the saddle.
It was organised by Rosalind South, operations manager at the Bilsington Priory Estate, and sponsored by Inky Dinky Saddle, creator of the renowned 'Inky Dinky Saddle' designed to keep young riders safe and secure whilst providing peace of mind to the leader.
Rosalind, who has always loved horse riding and who has two young children who took part in the event, said: “I wanted to find a fun way to raise funds for KSS, and came up with the Inky Dinky Ride.
"Safe places for very young children to experience the joy of horse riding can be hard to find, and we are very grateful to the Bilsington Priory Estate for allowing us to hold our fundraising ride in their beautiful grounds.”
“We had a lot of amazing support from local companies, including Lillicos Country Stores who provided prizes for all the riders and Centreline Equestrian who provided all the jumps for our jumping lane and raffle prizes.
"But the biggest thanks needs to go to our main sponsor, Jill and Doug Hick of Inky Dinky Saddle, who not only allowed us to use their name and social media to promote our event, but who also supported us on the day and provided the rosettes.
"With the fabulous support of their friends and clients, they also generously secured prizes for our raffle, which raised over £2,500.”
Lynne Harris, Executive Director of Income Generation at Air Ambulance Kent Surrey Sussex, said: “We are very grateful to Rosalind South and to everyone who took part in and supported the Inky Dinky Ride.”
“As a registered charity, we are reliant upon public donations and fundraising, and this year we are facing an unprecedented challenge as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic.
"It costs £14M each year to operate our life-saving service 24/7. Following the cancellation of all of our major fundraising events, and the decision to stop all canvassing activity for our lottery and our planned store collections - prioritising the health and safety of our canvassers, volunteers and the public who support us - we are facing a shortfall of £2.9M.
"Thanks to the generosity of our supporters we have raised £1.8M but we must raise a further £1.1M to ensure we can continue to save lives.”