RIDERS – and their horses – sporting many shades of pink set off from a Chobham equestrian centre recently, trekking to raise around £6,000 for charity.

Seventy-two people took part in the Ride for Life Surrey event, following seven and 10-mile routes that took in large swathes of Chobham Common.

They set out at intervals from LGB Equestrian in Halebourne Lane for the annual event, which has raised many thousands of pounds for Cancer Research UK since it started.

The sponsored event is organised by Gayle Bulmer and her daughter Lauren, who set up the centre seven years ago.

This year’s ride was dedicated to Gayle’s friend Karen Cook, who died this year, aged 58.

“It was well supported by riders of all ages and we were really pleased with the response,” said Gayle. “We did have some hitches in the previous two days before the ride, but we managed to overcome them.

“The sponsorship money is recorded on various individual fundraising sites and is still being totalled. We have at least £6,000, which we hope will go up to around £7,000 with Gift Aid.”

The problems encountered included Lauren finding that a bridleway bridge on the common was closed because it is being rebuilt as part of the project to replace the Esso oil pipeline that crosses the heathland. And Surrey Heath Borough Council refused permission for the route to pass through Chobham Place Woods, which it owns.

“Lauren found the bridge was closed when she was out marking the route the night before,” said Gayle. “We didn’t know the work was happening and had to find a diversion on other tracks.

“Not being able to use the track through the woods meant the riders had to use a narrow road instead. Fortunately, there were no incidents with traffic.”