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Vet Kate McMorris from Blackfield to ride her horse from John O'Groats to Land's End for charities

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A VET from Blackfield is gearing up to undertake a solo horse ride from John O’Groats to Land’s End to raise money for two charities.

Kate McMorris (50), who is a director at Seadown in Hythe, will set off on the 1,300-mile journey on 24th April – World Veterinary Day – on her beloved six-year-old Palomino, Marilyn.

Speaking ahead of the fundraiser, she said: “The trek is not a quest for the faint-hearted and as far as I am aware, it’ll be the first attempt for a vet.

Kate will ride 1,300 miles on her horse, Marilyn
Kate will ride 1,300 miles on her horse, Marilyn

“I anticipate some truly inhospitable terrain and conditions. It’ll test my strength of character, my courage, my mental health, my skill as a horsewoman, my faith and possibly my veterinary expertise, but I can’t wait.”

Kate’s route heading south from Scotland to Cornwall will keep her off road as much as possible and she plans to ride for five to six days at a time before stopping for two.

She said: “We will be covering between 12-25 miles a day.

“Accommodation for me will be a combination of camping, staying with friends, and relying on the kindness of strangers – the important thing is that Marilyn has some decent grazing and is safe.

“Some stops are already organised, but many will have to be arranged on the route – thank goodness for social media.”

The adventure has been a dream of hers for 30 years, after Kate, then a veterinary student, rode her pony Sam 200 miles from Halifax to Hadrian’s Wall for charity.

She added: “The recent pandemic era has made me realise life is short, we never know what is around the corner.

“Like many, I’ve been moved by inspiring stories of human endeavour and wonderful kindness across the country.

“It’s stirred me to see what I might also do to help those charities near and dear to me.”

Kate hopes to raise £5,000 for Pets As Therapy, a national charity which ensures people have access to the companionship of an animal regardless of their circumstances and VetLife, which provides emotional, financial and mental health support to those in the veterinary profession.

To donate visit www.justgiving.com/team/gbvettrek

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