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General information

The ride is non-profit making, run by volunteers and exists to raise money for local charities - to find out how we distribute your sponsorship, click the Charities button to the left.

The more money we can give to those charities the happier we are, so we’re rewarding riders for raising more than the minimum sponsorship.

This year we have six prizes for those riders who raise the highest sponsorship (including an iPod touch for the junior rider raising the most sponsorship), a new Pony Club prize and a £20 Robinsons voucher to every rider who raises £100 or more.

These are difficult times for charities, so please don’t stop looking for sponsors when you’ve reached the mimimum £30: ask a few more people and help the organisations we support to continue their good work.

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RAF Health and Safety

The Ride takes place on MOD property: please follow the route at all times, whether you’re riding or spectating, as anyone straying from the route may be approached by RAF security police.

In the interests of security, any person who enters RAF Halton does so on the basis that they give consent to their person, possessions and vehicle being searched at any time while on the site.

Please download and read the RAF’s health and safety requirements. These are in addition to the conditions of entry detailed on your entry form.

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When does the sponsored ride take place?

The 2014 Ride will take place on Sunday 23rd March.

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What happens if the Ride cannot go ahead?

Should conditions make the course unsuitable in the opinion of the Committee, the Ride will be postponed to Sunday 13th April 2014. Any entries for 23rd March will be honoured on 13th April and all start times will remain the same. Entry fees cannot be refunded as they will have already been spent on course preparation, but all profits will as usual go to our designated charities.

Any decision to cancel the Ride will not be taken before midday on Friday 21st March 2014.

Riders can confirm that the Ride is going ahead by checking the News page of this website, or by telephoning 07966 377698 - we will leave a recorded message on this number in the unlikly event the Ride is not going ahead. Please do not telephone unless it is considered that conditions are so bad that the Ride may have to be cancelled. Queries on matters other than the possibility of cancellation can only be dealt with by the secretary, Michaela Ryde, (info@haltonride.org.uk).

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Where is RAF Halton?

RAF Halton is near Wendover, in Buckinghamshire. You can download a PDF map here, or get directions from Streetmap or Google maps.

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What is the course like?

The course is seven miles long, crosses one road twice (with professional traffic controls) and includes approximately 50 cross country fences with a maximum height of 2’6”. About 25 of the fences have bigger or more difficult bonus options for the more advanced rider. The ground varies between tarmac, woodland tracks and well-maintained turf. All the fences are optional and there are no time penalties. To see a map of the course and individual pictures of the fences as they were in 2011 click the ‘The Course’ link to the left.

The course is only ridden once a year and the number of riders is strictly limited to keep the ground in good condition. Overtaking is permitted throughout the ride and slower riders are requested to let faster riders pass them if they are asked to do so. There are three checkpoints during the course, plus the finish, at which riders must stop to have their ride cards validated.

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Should I walk the course before riding?

Every entered rider is advised to inspect the course and fences thoroughly before riding. The course will be open for inspection on Saturday 22nd March, from 10am until 2pm and takes approximately two hours to walk: please arrive before midday if you intend to walk the entire course. Click here to download a copy of the course walking map.

Everyone walking the course must sign in at the ride office before setting off, and sign out before leaving the airfield, in accordance with RAF regulations. Dogs are not permitted on the course on Saturday 22nd March.

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What safety equipment do I need to wear?

Body protectors, hard hats (cross-country skull caps to PAS 015, EN 1384 or ASTMF1163 or equivalent) and medical armbands must all be worn. If you don’t already have a medical armband, click here to download a temporary medical card to print and fill in. If you use this, please carry it in an outside pocket so you can show it to the starter, and to paramedics if necessary.

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Are there any prizes?

The Ride exists to raise money for local charities, which comes from the sponsorship you raise. To encourage riders to raise as much as possible, we offer prizes to those exceptional riders who work extra hard for our charities.

To the senior rider who collects most sponsorship money
An Owner’s car pass (includes free entry for driver and all passengers) to the point-to-point races at Kimble Racecourse on Easter Saturday (or to one of the point-to-point meets at Kingston Blount in May if you’re away for Easter) with a complimentary bottle of champagne, two free entries to the glorious South Oxfordshire Sponsored Ride in October (www.sosr.org.uk), plus a 16”x12” mounted photograph of the rider on the course courtesy of Ultimate Images.

To the senior rider who collects the second highest sum
A magnum of champagne

To the senior rider who collects the third highest sum
One year’s membership of the British Horse Society

To the junior rider who collects the highest sum
A brand new Apple iPod touch in the winner’s choice of black or white.

To the junior rider who collects the second highest sum
Bellingdon End Specialist Equestrian Retailer (01494 758239) have donated a voucher for £60 to spend in their shop on clothing, tack, horse feeds, bedding etc.

To the junior rider who collects the third highest sum
Bellingdon End Specialist Equestrian Retailer (01494 758239) have donated a voucher for £40 to spend in their shop.

Robinsons vouchers
Additionally, all riders raising more than £100 in sponsorship will be rewarded with a £20 voucher from Robinsons Country Leisure, the UK’s leading mail order equestrian goods supplier.

There are no cash equivalents to any of the prizes above.

To the Pony Club branch whose members between them raise the highest amount of sponsorship money:
A cheque to the value of 25% of all the sponsorship money raised by all the Pony Club branches that enter.

This could mean a significant amount of money to the winning branch, so if you’re a Pony Club member make sure you list your branch on the entry form when you enter, and if you’re a DC, make sure your members do list their branch when they enter. Members don’t need to ride together, just to state their branch on their entry form for the branch to qualify.

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Will I get a rosette?

Rosettes will be awarded to all riders completing the course:
Gold awarded to riders jumping all the jumps including all the bonus jumps
Silver awarded to riders for completing the course

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How much does it cost to enter?

There is a £15 non-returnable deposit for each rider (£16 for online entries, to cover the fees PayPal charge us, but you won’t need to provide a stamped self-addressed envelope, so it pretty much evens out), which includes £2 for paramedic cover. In addition each rider must raise a minimum of £30 sponsorship (or sponsor themselves for a minimum of £30) and all sponsorship monies must be paid prior to riding on the day, in cash or by cheque. We cannot accept credit or debit cards on the day.

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How do I enter?

The ride is usually heavily over-subscribed so please enter early if you wish to be sure of a place. Entries for the ride close Monday 17th March, or earlier if the ride is full.

There are two ways to enter: you can enter online and pay by PayPal or credit/debit card. Alternatively, you can download an entry form (Acrobat PDF) if you’d prefer to pay by cheque. Please send your completed entry form with your non-returnable deposit of £15 per rider and a large SAE to the Secretary at the address found on the entry form. Whether you’re entering by post or online, click the ‘Entry Form’ link to the left to get started.

On our receipt of your entry, you will be sent a rider number, a start time and a sponsorship form.

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How long does the ride take to complete?

It takes approximately 1.5 hours on average but it depends on the individual pace you set. Some people may take considerably longer.

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Can I ride in a group?

Yes, but start times are allocated as entries are received, so please send all your entries together to the secretary, stating clearly that you wish to be grouped together, or note who you wold like to ride with on the online entry form.

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Can I request a specific start time?

Times are allocated in order of receipt of entries, early times are very popular and are quickly filled. If you want to ride at a specific time, please request it and the secretary will do her best to meet it. However, we cannot guarantee to satisfy every requested time.

Entries are closed when a certain number of entries have been received, not when there are no more start times left. The total number of riders permitted is variable year on year and depends on the anticipated state of the ground and local weather conditions.

There is a collecting ring with a practice jump at the start of the course. Please arrive in the collecting ring promptly as it may be difficult to fit you in at another time if you miss your own, but you will not be allowed into the collecting ring more than 10 minutes before your start time.

The first riders set off at 9.30am and the last usually around 1.30pm.

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Will I be able to park near the start of the ride?

You will be directed to a parking place on hard standing by stewards. Non-towing vehicles will be parked away from lorries and trailers, so for your own convenience please transport all your tack in your towing vehicle or lorry.

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What if I am transporting more than one load of horses?

We will try to give you morning and afternoon ride times to give you time to return with your second load.

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Will there be a photographer present?

High quality digital prints will be available on the day, or afterwards by post, from Ultimate Images (0845 8383199, pa.smith5@virgin.net). There will be two or three photographers taking pictures of riders at different points of the ride and one of them will be situated at the famous aeroplane fence (jump number 47).

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Will there be a vet present?

There will be a vet and a horse ambulance available for emergencies. Please bear in mind that the vet’s services are not free!

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Will there be a farrier present?

Yes, there will be a farrier at the ride (as with the vet, the farrier’s services are not free).

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Will there be a food stall or a tack shop?

There will be an equestrian goods trade stand (College Farm Saddlery) and a refreshment stall selling hot and cold drinks and hot food.

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I still have questions

If you have any further questions, please send an e-mail to the Secretary at info@haltonride.org.uk

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