Generosity the spur as reivers ride again

A SelkirK woman is riding the routes of the reivers to raise money for a soldiers’ charity later this month.

Lifelong horsewoman Patience Anderson of Ravensheugh sets out from Otterburn with retired senior soldiers dressed as reivers to ride 140 miles to raise thousands for ABF The Soldiers’ Charity.

Mrs Anderson said: “It will be good fun and a chance to ride where I’ve never been before, but with the added incentive of making money to help others.”

The fundraiser, whose brother and father-in-law served in the army, will be riding with retired Major General Sir Evelyn Webb-Carter, the charity’s chief executive, who came up with the idea for the week-long event, starting on July 24. Local riders are invited to join the foray which will cover 10-20 miles a day at a walk.

Provosts and other local dignitaries will welcome the riders to Coldstream, Kelso, Selkirk and Lauder on their way to a Dunbar finish.

The ride will commemorate historic battles such as Flodden Field, Philiphaugh and Ancrum Moor, and visit the sites. It will also be in memory of high-profile military historian Professor Richard Holmes, who was intending to take part but died in April aged 65 after a battle with cancer.

Others in the group include Major General Arthur Denaro, an equerry to the Prince of Wales and Colonel, The Queen’s Royal Hussars, Michael Cunningham who served in the Queen’s Own Hussars, the Vice-Lord Lieutenant of Wiltshire, James Arkell, who has an army background and Yorkshire brewer Charles Dent.

Fundraising events along the route include a reception, beating retreat and talk on humour in uniform by top after-dinner speaker Professor David Purdie, who writes The Major column in Golf International magazine, on July 28 at Thirlestane Castle. There will also be a reels and ceilidh party at Dunbar when the ride finishes on July 30.

Sir Evelyn, who hopes to raise £60,000 from the ride, said: “Our charity helps soldiers, former soldiers and their families across the UK and beyond. We gave over £1million to the North-east and Scotland in the last financial year, and by doing this ride we hope that people will be able to learn more about our work and the importance of supporting our soldiers.”

The riders will be in Kelso on July 26 and at the Philiphaugh Battlefield, Selkirk, at 5pm on July 28.

Donations can be made to riders along the way or by going to http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/giving/ and typing in “reivers’ ride”. Anyone interested in the events or riding with the modern-day Reivers should ring Major Roy Robertson on 07960 839175 or email scotland@soldierscharity.org.