SELKIRK horsewoman Patience Anderson has so enjoyed her week as a fundraising reiver she might ask to run a charity ride during the Borders Festival of the Horse.
The 61-year-old of Ravensheugh rode more than 100 miles across country from Northumberland to Dunbar to raise thousands of pounds for ABF, The Soldiers’ Charity.
Finishing on Saturday, Mrs Anderson was one of six fundraisers dressed as reivers riding along routes used by the thieves several hundred years ago and raising more than £56,000 for the charity
Mrs Anderson pulled together £5,500 from friends for the seven-day ride, organised by Major-General Sir Evelyn Webb-Carter, who is also the charity’s chief executive.
She said: “I am so grateful to my friends. The money goes straight to the families, the people who need it.
“I have never done anything like this before. It was the most enormous fun. We had marvellous hostesses feeding us and all the horses finished sound.”
She explained why she took part: “I just want to help. When I think of the lives of these people after their service, that’s the thing that really moved me. It’s not just the glory of the battlefield, soldiers have got to live the rest of their lives with these wounds. We are so grateful to them for that sacrifice.”
Her brother, Oliver Howard, served for 25 years in the Royal Hussars and her father-in-law, Lt Col Charles Anderson, served with the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders.
“I have always known the importance of the army and of the regiment. Regiments are like families and they all care for each other.”
Having made Selkirk last Wednesday, the group rode on to Thirlestane Castle on Thursday, Haddington on Friday before reaching Dunbar the following day, where there was a fundraising ceilidh.
Mrs Anderson said the highlights for her were the Cheviots and the river crossings.
She said: “When we rode over the border ridge in the Cheviots – we were up there and it was just us and the curlews. That was the way the reivers went and we really felt in tune.
“I always love being in the saddle. I particularly wanted to go up the Cheviots because I’m from a reiving family on my mother’s side, the Selbys.”
Now she is thinking of proposing a fundraising ride in the Cheviots to be included in the spring Borders Festival of the Horse programme, to raise more money for ABF.