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About The Great Horses For Health Relay

The Great Horses for Health Relay aims to celebrate how much our horses have supported us during the COVID-19 pandemic whilst also raising funds and promoting awareness for:

  • Mental Health and Wellbeing: The huge positive impact from horses

  • Safety: Horse and other vulnerable road users' safety and awareness

  • Welfare: Equine rescue and welfare

The Relay gives riders, drivers, in-hand walkers and cyclists the chance to be part of a huge community event, have fun with their horse and other equestrian enthusiasts whilst raising money for some fantastic causes.

For the purpose of the Relay, the UK has been split into 11 regions and participants in each region will complete their section of the Relay before passing the baton to the next region. See 'The Relay' page for more information about how it works.

How the idea began

The Relay idea began on 30th December 2020 whilst founder Sophie Gifford was watching BBC Breakfast. They were reviewing all the charitable fundraising carried out throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and Sophie marvelled at how many different physical activities had been undertaken, one of which of course was Capt. Sir Tom Moore. She noticed, though, that there were no equestrians, which led her to innocently post on the Facebook Group, Pass Wide & Slow (PWAS), suggesting a UK-wide riding event. Within a couple of hours there had been hundreds of responses, which prompted her to create The Great Horses for Health UK Relay 2021 Facebook Group on New Years Eve. In the first week we hit 1000 members and from there the Event took on its own energy! The rest, as they say, is history!

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The Organisers

The overall Relay is run completely by volunteers who have been organising this from start to finish whilst also juggling work, family commitments and various animals including their own horses,


There are also approximately 90 Regional Co-ordinators based in every region of the UK who have used their expert knowledge of their local areas to help plan each part of the Relay.

A huge amount of organisational support has also been provided by our lead charity, HorseWorld .


To find out more about the people behind the Relay, click on the link below to 'meet the team'

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Our Charities

The Great Horses for Health Relay 2021 is supporting a number of charities from all around the UK. Our first three confirmed charities are:

HorseWorld Trust

Redwings Horse Sanctuary

Hope Pastures

HorseBack UK

Riding for the disabled Association

Bransby Horses

North Wales Horse Watch


For more information about our supported charities, click on the button below.

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Mental Health Awareness

The term 'mental health' covers psychological, emotional and social well-being and affects how we think, feel and act. so is a key part of staying healthy in life.

Mental health is a topic that is more important than ever right now with an estimated 20% of the population requiring new or additional mental health support as a direct consequence of the Covid-19 crisis.

So many horse owners have spoken out about how their horse has helped their mental wellbeing over the years and more so than ever throughout 2020 and into 2021. This is one of the key areas that the Relay aims to promote and in order to break the silence about mental health, some of our participants have shared their stories in our 'real life stories' section.

Click on the link below to find out more about mental health and wellbeing. 

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Road Safety

Safety on the road for vulnerable users such as horse riders, carriage drivers, walkers and cyclists is one of key areas that The Great Horses for Health Relay wants to raise awareness for.

Sadly there are hundreds of incidents every year where vulnerable road users are injured or even killed by vehicles so raising awareness to all road users of how to use the road safely is an incredibly important subject and something we are very passionate about promoting.


To read more about road safety campaigns. as well as finding out some tips on how to use the road safely, click on the link below.

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