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Cothi and Caio make front cover of WELSH RIDER Magazine! August 2013

Welsh Rider


Cothi & Caio Fun Ride – June 30th 2013 Ogmore Castle in support of Amser Justin Time and Velindre Cancer Care.

What a day! This was my first attempt at organising a Fun Ride and I must admit quite a daunting task. When I started getting the ball rolling with only six weeks to go, I did question WHY was I putting myself through this?

Well firstly because the cause was an excellent one. To raise funds for Velindre Cancer Centre and to jointly celebrate Amser Justin Time’s  fifth birthday!


Caio's butt AJT logo


AJT (Pancreatic Cancer Charity Wales) was launched 5 yrs ago with an epic horse ride from North to South Wales in memory of my late husband Justin Smith who lost his life to this silent killer disease.  So after many requests to repeat the saga I thought well why not organise a scaled down version to raise awareness once again. I jumped to it and decided to donate all proceeds to Velindre Cancer Centre as part of my Kilimanjaro Trek fundraising which happens in September.

My horse Caio was well up for it. I bought him after Justin passed away and he saved me and brought such joy to my life again. He loves the camera and is a very special horse, always high-spirited, full of character and had his fair share of beans when they were handed out!


Shan and Caio in the sea


Leading 120 horses and riders out of the picturesque Ogmore Castle field across the stepping stones and the estuary was a sight to behold! I felt we were leading the charge of the Cothi brigade – I looked back and was so proud to have such wonderful support. A beautiful sight to behold and everyone so well turned out.


Happy Riders in Ogmore river


We strung out sensibly and nearly everyone managed a canter across the beach – some flew it even though I’d emphasised NO FLAT OUT GALLOPING! All arrived safe and sound at Newton, who had quite a shock to see and hear such a gathering of  hooves making their way towards the 2 pubs on the green – thanks to the Ancient Briton and Jolly Sailor for the welcome.

Buckets were shook and the cash flowed!


Cath Chezza Big Dai buckets


We were very lucky with the weather too. It was just perfect for the horses, not too hot which meant the flies were sleeping in the dunes. We then made our way back through the dunes towards Merthyr Mawr after splitting the 120 into four groups and I’m proud to say everyone got back safe and sound. A classy AJT celebratory rosette for all and everyone was happy. That’s when I could finally relax to enjoy the hog roast donated by Chris Cadogan HogFatherWales!  I soon realised that it’s quite a responsibilty to put your name to an event and be answerable to absolutely everything. I’ve now become quite an expert on risk assessments/maps/police requirements/St John’s Ambulance bookings and toilet hire! Please contact me if you need assistance!!

Thanks to everyone who donated such fantastic raffle prizes  and to my wonderful team of helpers who so readily gave their time to help with stewarding and marshalling on horseback as well as my trusty ground staff.  Huge thanks to The A Team at Ogmore Farm Riding Stables who worked incredibly hard to make sure the whole day was a success! A special thanks to Robert Williams Ogmore Riding Stables for letting us use the castle field as base and to Merthyr Mawr Estate who kindly gave us permission to stampede across the beach and dunes for charity!

Everyone’s time and commitment to such a great cause made the day an astounding success and I’m proud to say that we all raised a total of £4,200 for Velindre which was delivered the next day.

I was totally gobsmacked. Thank you. Diolch o galon!

Thanks to all who agreed to wear PINK too! We had stunning photos of the day courtesy of Sian Lewis (Equine Imaging) who captured the spirit of the day in stunning style. What a talent. Click on the link to see the pictures from the day.

Cothi & Caio want to thank all who contributed wholeheartedly to the day and look forward to the next adventure!