Charlie talks about how he raised funds for Child Bereavement UK by walking with his pony Lila, following the death of a family friend in an accident.

Just before lockdown, my pony Lila gashed her hind leg somehow in a field, resulting in four weeks of boring box rest.  Although this was a very frustrating period for Lila and me, the idea of my walk might not have sparked if this accident had not occurred - you could say it was a good happening.  As soon as we could take off Lila’s fat, yellow, sausage-like bandage and start moving and walking, I began taking her for grass walks and gentle strolls to occupy her need to do something purposeful.

When our good friend and pony racer died in a freak accident while looking after horses on her family’s farm, I just knew I had to do something. I decided to do a sponsored walk with Lila to raise funds for charity.

When our good friend and pony racer died in a freak accident while looking after horses on her family’s farm, I just knew I had to do something. I decided to do a sponsored walk with Lila to raise funds for charity. I hoped that our friend, who always said she wanted to have 100 horses, would have liked this idea too.    

Lila was totally sound by now and keen to get going and do some jumping, but I decided we would walk together anyway.  One hundred miles seemed just about achievable in 1 month.  I kind of forgot about allowing for hockey camps and cricket matches, and the heat!  

During July I averaged about 4-5 miles a day, but sometimes things got in the way, like school! I had to catch up with a few 8-10 milers at weekends.  I also have a small confession that once or twice I hopped onto Lila’s bare back and rode the walk, but I promise it wasn’t more than a couple of miles out of the whole hundred.  Sometimes people walked with me, but mostly it was just me and my pony.

I did get a bit behind with the miles and in late July we left to go on holiday to Suffolk for a few days when I had four miles left.  Luckily, I was able to borrow my friend’s pony, Fly.  For miles 97, 98, 99 and 100, I walked alongside Fly. 

A huge thank you to everyone who supported the walk and who sent messages to spur me on.  In total I raised well over £3000 for Child Bereavement UK.