Gemma inspires riding contest in Ashley

Knutsford Guardian: All of the competitors who took part in Pictus Stud’s charity event at the weekend. Gemma Long is pictured sitting down on the front row All of the competitors who took part in Pictus Stud’s charity event at the weekend. Gemma Long is pictured sitting down on the front row

A FAMILY-run business in Ashley invited competitors and spectators to trot along and horse around at its charity fancy dress riding event.

Pictus Stud, at Stock Farm, organised dressage, show-jumping and cross-country events on September 21 and 22 to raise money for charities close to their hearts – Barry’s project 150 and Christies.

Stock Farm’s proprietor, Louise Paterson, decided to fundraise for the cancer charities after one of her young riders, 20-year-old Gemma Long from Altrincham, was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumour.

Louise said: “This made it a very personal event to us. Every single person took it to their hearts and gave it 100 per cent.

“Gemma herself attended both days and even though she was extremely tired the second day, she insisted she had a duty and ended up judging and handing out all the prizes.”

The event proved a huge success and raised more than £2,000 with more donations still to be collected.

Alice in Wonderland, Batman and Robin and many competitors tried their hands at the numerous competitions as well as enjoying a raffle, auction and barbecue.

Competitor Chris Foulkes said: “What a wonderful two day event. We put all our anxieties aside because we knew we were doing it for Gemma. This allowed us to achieve our personal goals and have great fun at the same time.”

Many businesses and residents got involved, including Roberts Bakery which supplied not just the rosettes but all the buns, and Fryers Roses which supplied the rose prizes.

Louise added: “Words cannot express how much thanks I have. I want to thank every single person involved through donation, time and effort.”

It wasn’t an easy ride, however, as Louise’s sons, Jack and Ben, only finished constructing the jump fence four minutes before the start of the cross-country and Louise wanted to pay special thanks for their help.

She said: “They dedicated everything to this event, from making the jumps to running around with the nervous competitors to make sure everyone would get round and enjoy the day.

“I know this event would not have been as wonderful as it was without them.”

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