Intrepid trekkers raise £2,000

Nikki Wares & Vinni (left) and Shirley Hamilton & Whisper
Nikki Wares & Vinni (left) and Shirley Hamilton & Whisper
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TWO riders have raised more than £2,000 for Help for Heroes completing a six-day trek across the Border country.

Shirley Hamilton and Nikki Wares covered 120 miles on their horses, Whisper and Vinni, in scorchingly hot weather.

“The Borderland is historically famous for horses, its magnificent terrain and its kind-hearted people and that is why we decided to take up the challenge for this most worthy of causes,” said Shirley who, with her Tayside-based friend Nikki, began the ride in the tiny hamlet of Ae north of Dumfries.

They followed the forest trails heading north for Moffat and the first overnight stop before pushing over the watershed into Eskdalemuir and out to Garwaldwaterfoot.

This steep and exposed section tested the riders and horses to their limit as they scrambled up the badly degraded, rutted, stony, slippery surface.

On day three, there was habitation at the start and finish but nothing except trees, streams and hill tops between. The riders passed the Roman signal station at Craik Cross Hill before dropping down to Craik Village in the Borthwick Valley.

For the second half of the ride the terrain changed as Shirley and Nikki headed east for Hawick. Day five was the longest section – 25 miles touching civilisation at Denholm but crossing some wild country to finish just short of Jedburgh. This was the hottest day and riders and horses were sorely tested.

On the final leg, the riders passed through Jedburgh and finish in the Bowmont Valley near Yetholm.

Shirley Hamilton’s husband Nick, who managed the team, said: “Everywhere we’ve been for the ride and during the ride itself we’ve been met with kindness and friendship, received good advice, and been provided with overnight stops for riders and horses.”