Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 30 August 2014

101 Santas take to horseback for charity

Hordes of Santas on horseback have taken to north west roads for a charity event.

Emulating the recent success of 10,001 Santas event, local riders yesterday decked themselves out in festive finery for the fun fund-raiser.

Lenamore Stables, just across the border from Londonderry in Muff, hosted the seasonal get-together, just in time for Christmas, with a slightly more modest aim of gathering 101 riders.

Proprietor Geraldine Graham said that she and the young people using the facility had been inspired by the antics of over 13,000 people who took to the streets of the Maiden City a fortnight ago.

They were also raising funds for the four charities who benefited from the Santa's stroll along the Derry Walls - Children in Crossfire, Foyle Hospice, icare 4 autism, and Macmillan Cancer Support.

Smaller children did their bit at one of Lenamore's sand arenas while older riders enjoyed a "hack" - a walk along country lanes - dressed in their Santa suits.

Ms Graham today said: " The 10,001 Santas was great and some of the young ones here at the yard thought it was a brilliant idea.

"We decided to stage our own version and asked people to pay for their suits or to hire a pony if they needed one and the money will be donated to the same charities.

" Everybody had a great time and it was a real spectacle to see everyone in their outfits.

"Riders of all ages turned out to take part and it was a great way to get ready for Christmas."

Earlier this month, the organisers of the 10,001 Santas event saw all their expectations exceeded when a record-breaking 13,000 took to Derry's Walls.

Highly rated boxer John Duddy was among those who turned out in their Father Christmas outfits, while one loved-up couple used the event to get engaged.

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