A former jockey who was left a paraplegic following a hurdles race fall at Exeter Racecourse achieved a long held ambition when she rode the War Horse Ride on Dartmoor. Accompanying her was her lifelong racing hero Richard Pitman, a former jockey who recently donated a kidney to a complete stranger. Sarah Gaisford was left paralysed from the waist down when she fell during a race at Exeter Racecourse in 2007. Before her accident, she was a self-confessed equine addict and lived and breathed horses. Altogether she rode 50 point-to-point winners and 14 under Rules, but following her accident she thought her life in the saddle was over. This year, however, Sarah started riding regularly again, and on October 20th embarked on the War Horse Ride with Richard Pitman, thanks to Liberty Trails who provide Dartmoor Riding Adventure Holidays. Founder of Liberty Trails Elaine Prior said: “I’ve always had the deepest respect for Sarah. Her courage is astonishing and when I heard she was riding regularly again, I wanted to offer her the chance to do the ride, as it’s an incredible experience, across the same stunning scenery made famous by the film War Horse.” Sarah said: “Just to be back riding again on the open moors is something I never thought I’d be doing. Being on a horse gives me a sense of utmost freedom which is food for the soul when you are confined to a wheel chair. It was just amazing to be back on Dartmoor riding where they actually filmed War Horse. To do the ride with Richard Pitman was incredible. He’s someone I really admire and I can’t thank Liberty Trails enough for providing me with the experience.” Richard [...]
It’s a Right Old Carry on as Matt Johnson and Johnny Robinson from ITV This Morning put on their tuxedos – as you do - and head to Dartmoor to try their hand at wild camping, in a two-part special. It all started with a phone call from a programmer researcher saying that Matt and Johnny’s trip to Devon needed to include the stunning scenery of the Dartmoor National Park where they wanted to lose themselves in nature for a few days. More specifically, they wanted to experience a Liberty Trail’s War Horse Ride and see for themselves the incredible scenery captured in the making of Steven Spielberg’s epic blockbuster, and they fancied camping ‘ Wild’. It was agreed we would organize a combination of the two which they rightly believed, would provide them with the ultimate experience of Dartmoor. However, unlike most of our guests, the pair can’t ride, and they didn’t have their own horses. So we sourced two exceptionally quiet horses, and with help from their experienced helpers and after a lot of laughter from all parties, we got them on board and set off into the wilderness. It wasn’t long before they were saying, “I’m actually really, really enjoying this, its brilliant,” and “I’m doing fine. I’m a happy man.” After a break for lunch at one of the remotest places on the moor, the intrepid adventurers had a go at abseiling at the Dewerstone Rock where Johnny literally pushed Matt over the edge. It was wonderful to have been a part of the program and great fun working with Matt and Johnny.