Meet The Team

The Great Horses For Health Relay has been organised solely by volunteers who have been doing this in their spare time, fitting it around work, home, family and animal commitments. Here is a little bit of background about each member of the main organising team behind the relay.

Sophie Gifford

Sophie is the Founder and main organiser of The Great Horses for Health Relay.

Sophie and her equine best friend of 10 years, Jack, enjoy cross-country schooling, beach rides, pub rides and exploring new bridleways. 'Jack the Lad' is a Cob x with what Sophie thinks must be a healthy dollop of Shire based on the size of his head!

Sophie has been working in the pharmaceutical/healthcare sector since 1993 and has impressively fitted in the organisation of the Horses for Health Relay around her very busy full-time job.

She lives in West Sussex and is married to Andrew with two grown up stepchildren. When she is not juggling work, family life and the Relay she enjoys skiing, tennis, reading and crafty creations,

Sophie is described by her friends as looking and acting like a Golden Retriever (which can't be a bad thing!) with her best habit being optimism to the point of madness and her worst being untidiness and impatience. Her biggest fear is dying and her pet hate is being called Soph... you have been warned!

 

Unsurprisingly the thing Sophie is most proud of is the Horses for Health Relay which I'm sure you will all agree is a huge achievement!

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Caroline Thompson

Caroline has been riding for over thirty years and bought her New Forest mare 'Bonnie' as a yearling 15 years ago. The partnership has done a bit of everything over the years from hacking and showing to showjumping and horse trials but since the birth of Caroline's son in 2018 they are now enjoying a slightly less competitive life.

Caroline worked in the marketing industry for 11 years before getting married in 2010 to Jonny - a serving member of the Armed Forces. It was this that spurred her on to take the plunge to change careers to become a Personal Trainer and Exercise Referral specialist. This began her interest in mental health and the benefits that exercise can have on it. Her own struggles led her to discover first hand how both physical exercise and horses can greatly help with mental health and it was this that encouraged her to volunteer to help Sophie with The Great Horses For Health Relay.

Caroline has been responsible for building the website along with helping with some of the marketing, merchandise and charity liaison.

Caroline currently lives in Surrey but has spent a lot of time living in various parts of Scotland, as well as Windsor and Wiltshire, This is the seventh house she has lived in since she got married 10 years ago... the joys of being an Army family!

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Petra Ingram

Petra is Chief Executive of our lead charity partner, HorseWorld Trust and has been working with us to help set up The Great Horses for Health Relay..

Petra joined HorseWorld Trust in September 2020 and was previously Chief Executive at Brooke, Action for Working Horses and Donkeys for 11 years.

Since joining the charity Petra says she has been quite shocked at the level of neglect and abuse that still goes on in this country.

 

Petra started riding when she was six years old, and owned her first horse when she was 16. She now has two miniature Shetland ponies and four beautiful Haflinger horses, all at their home in Somerset.

 

Petra is also Patron of the Haflinger Society and enjoys getting involved with the local riding club.

 

Petra's horses keep her and her husband busy; they have been life savers during the COVID pandemic and are the best way to unwind after a busy day - she loves to watch them mooching about in the field. Her favourite activity is hacking around the local countryside, enjoying the views through their ears! 

 

Petra and The HorseWorld Trust are very excited to be involved with the Great Horses for Health UK Relay 2021, and look forward to meeting like minded riders, whilst raising vital funds for horse loving charities.

 

Regional Co-ordinators

Another key group of people behind the organisation of the relay are over 70 Regional Co-ordinators. As the organisation and regional planning was such a mammoth task, the country was split into 11 regions, each with a team of Co-ordinators who are based in that area and know it best. Regional Co-ordinators are responsible for organising all the participants in their area and regional organisation such as photographers and liaising with local press. A huge 'Thank You' goes to all these people who are working so hard to make the relay happen!

Region

Yorkshire & The Humber

- Yorkshire

- N & N.E Lincs

North East

- Tyne & Wear

- Co. Durham

- Northumberland

Scotland (East and West)

North West, Northern Ireland & Isle of Man

- Cheshire

- Cumbria

- Greater Manchester

- Merseyside

- Lancashire

- Isle of Man

- Northern Ireland

Wales

West Midlands

- Herefordshire

- Shropshire

- Staffordshire

- Worcestershire

- Warwickshire

East Midlands

- Derbyshire

- Leicestershire

- Northamptonshire

- Rutland

- Lincolnshire

- Nottinghamshire

East of England

- Suffolk

- Norfolk

- Bedfordshire

- Essex

- Cambridgeshire

- Hertfordshire

South East

- London

- Kent

- East & West Sussex

- Hampshire

- Oxfordshire

- Berkshire

- Surrey

- Isle of Wight

- Buckinghamshire

 

 

 

 

 

 

South West

- Cornwall

- Somerset

- Gloucestershire

- Devon

- Bristol

- Dorset

- Wiltshire

Co-ordinators

Louisa Jane

Justin Brooks

Melanie Riley

Helen Roff

Sarah Burgess-Boyde

Jane Adams

Mary Simpson

Cammy Whiteside-Cox

Ilona Hewitt

Estelle McDiarmid

Julie Andrews

Lisa Hartley

Laura Charnock

Wendy Corlett

Karen Lee-Mc

Lianne Robinson

Merrigan Burton

Medina Brock

Sally Marten

Hayley Revell

Lesley Fisher

Caroline LeButt

Jane Barker

Hannah Leslie

Hayley Edwards

Lisa Smith

Jill Hancock

Emily Fox

Jade Tunley

Caroline Hester-Staley

Kellie Judson

Alison Lewis

 

Sarah Wynn

Mia Bramford

Jenny Snowdon

Jane Skinner

Michelle Kirby

Tracy Howard

Mica Cowdrey

Caroline Bowers

Janice Bryson

Gen Gordon-Thomson

Ali Lock

Stella Bellem

Mel Archer

Krystyna Wedgbrow

Helen Nash-Steer

Gill Young

Karen Whittington

Tina Cobourn

Fiona Dent

Joanne Trivedi

Beryl Randall

Stacey Moore

Belinda Drake

Joy Taylor

Maggie Pattinson

Beverley Jeavons

Sara McKinnon-Snell

Xanthe Ponsford

Abi Richards

Marie Callister

Sarah Johnson

Susan Mattick

Rhian Rose-Jones

Suzanne Outen

Kylie Waters

Gill Young

Eve Bateman

Tiffany Perry