A SELKIRK woman is going to horseride in Mongolia to raise money for charity this summer, writes Sally Gillespie.
Optometrist Nicky Hall is undertaking a second British Horse Society (BHS) challenge after her successful Inca Trail ride in Peru last year.
“This will be my first visit to Asia. Mongolia is a vast country with a large number of nomad households herding sheep, camels and horses. I am looking forward to learning about a different culture and way of life.”
Nicky, 38 is again paying for the 11-day adventure herself and any money from donations or sponsorship will go to BHS’s welfare arm.
“The department helps provide free expert welfare telephone and email advice, produces a wide range of welfare advisory literature, trains over 120 volunteers who respond to welfare concerns, runs awareness campaigns – for example on strangles, ragwort and responsible breeding – and comments on many government consultations,” said Nicky.
She described her fundraising adventure in Peru as “amazing” and is now looking forward to enjoying her Asian experience.
Nicky will be riding small, locally bred Mongolian ponies which stand at 13hh to 14hh. Some bear the characteristic colouring and dorsal stripe of the Przewalski, the ancient wild horse from which many are descended.
“The trip involves riding small Mongolian ponies across the Gobi Steppes, camping along the way. At the end we will see the opening of the famous Nadaam festival involving wrestling, archery and horse racing, ” said Nicky.
The festival, in Mongolia’s capital city Ulaanbaatar, is the largest of festival of its kind in the country.
Nicky, who started horseriding aged 10, had previously been on a riding safari in Botswana before undertaking the Inca Trail challenge. As a teenager she and friends rode from village to village around Selkirk over a few days to raise money for Riding for the Disabled, and she also took part in pony club and riding club activities.
“I now look after my own retired mare and have been riding other people’s horses to keep my hand in and get my muscles prepared,” she said. Donations can be made to Nicky at Hall Opticians, 26 Bank Street, Galashiels TD1 1EN or be made at www.justgiving.com/Nicky-Hall-Mongolia.