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Adventurous Seadown vet's ride across Britain raises thousands for Vetlife and Pets As Therapy



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AN adventurous Hythe vet showed she was hot to trot – for 1,300 miles – by completing a solo charity horse ride the length of Britain.

Aided by her beloved six-year-old palomino Marilyn, Kate McMorris endured three months of speeding traffic, extreme weather and tricky terrain to reach Land’s End on Sunday.

Having left John O’Groats on 24th April, World Veterinary Day, the 50-year-old Seadown vets director and her trusty steed smashed their £5,000 fundraising target.

Kate and Marilyn at Land's End on Sunday
Kate and Marilyn at Land's End on Sunday

By Wednesday they had raised over £15,600 for Vetlife and Pets As Therapy – two causes close to Kate’s heart.

Believed to be the first time such a journey has been undertaken on horseback, it was not all plain sailing for what Kate dubbed "the Great British Vet Trek".

Kate's view as she approached Land's End on her horse Marilyn
Kate's view as she approached Land's End on her horse Marilyn

She said: “We’ve had some scary moments. The traffic across Britain is concerning, the speeds fast and the roads much busier than I ever expected.

“In those early days, with endless wind and rain, and very difficult terrain and tracks, it would have been easy to give up.

Kate and her beloved six-year-old palomino Marilyn (Photo: Liz Monk)
Kate and her beloved six-year-old palomino Marilyn (Photo: Liz Monk)

“But through the highs and the lows, I am hugely thankful for the opportunity to gain an even closer connection to my horse, Marilyn.”

The challenge left Kate with treasured memories of “stunning” landscapes of mountains, hills and valleys.

She also paid tribute to the many kind strangers along the way, who helped out by providing both her and Marilyn with refreshments, as well as a bed for the night.

Marilyn against some of the beautiful scenery at Loch Tay
Marilyn against some of the beautiful scenery at Loch Tay

“As weary travellers we couldn’t have asked for more,” Kate said.

She and Marilyn were greeted by her husband Steve and several friends at Land’s End on Sunday.

Feeling a mix of relief and sadness that the adventure was over, Kate paid tribute to all those who generously donated.

“It feels lovely to be home and to see all my friends and family (human and animal!), and I am sure Marilyn feels the same way,” she said.

“I am ecstatic that Marilyn and I have raised so much for Vetlife and Pets As Therapy – more than I could have ever imagined – and it has made the whole trip so worthwhile.”

Kate with John Gibson of the Canmore Trust, who she met as he walked north to John O'Groats and shared experiences with mental health, particularly in veterinary sector
Kate with John Gibson of the Canmore Trust, who she met as he walked north to John O'Groats and shared experiences with mental health, particularly in veterinary sector

Pets As Therapy is a national charity ensuring people have access to the companionship of an animal regardless of their circumstances.

Vetlife provides emotional, financial and mental health support to those in the veterinary profession.

“Vetlife gave myself and my staff amazing support through a difficult time at the practice a few years ago and I wanted to raise funds for them so they can continue to help others,” Kate said.

Donations can still be made at justgiving.com/team/gbvettrek



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