Alzheimer's Charity Ride back on this October

More than 60 horses and riders will descend on Northam in October, for the annual Alzheimer's Charity Ride. 

In its fourth year, the event has raised more than $70,000 for people affected by alzheimer's disease. Event organiser Maryanne Phillips has set her sights on raising $50,000 for the cause this year. 

Riders commence their journey on Saturday, October 7 from either Wooroloo which is a 50 kilometre ride each day or Avon Brook Winery which is a 25 kilometre ride each day.

Riders camp overnight at Avon Valley Equestrian Centre, Clarke Street in Northam. Some riders spend six-eight months training for the event. 

Ms Phillips said the ride had slowly raised its profile each year since its inaugural year in 2014 and it was encouraging to see state-wide support for the event. 

We've received hundreds of donated items from very generous businesses, including accommodation and restaurant vouchers, equestrian supplies, beauty vouchers, jewellery, and a holiday to Broome

“We bring 300 to 400 people into Northam each year,” she said. 

Ms Phillips said she aimed to involve riders from Esperance to Geraldton. She said around 70 volunteers helped out each year during the event. 

Community members are urged to gather along Broome Terrace in Northam from around 1:30pm until 3:30pm to show support for the participating riders.

Ms Phillips said cheering the riders on as they travelled along the banks of the Avon River was a nice way to celebrate the last leg of their journey.

The community is also invited to attend an auction night on Saturday from 7pm on Clarke Street. 

The fundraising evening will boast entertainment for all ages.

“We've received hundreds of donated items from very generous businesses, including accommodation and restaurant vouchers, equestrian supplies, beauty vouchers, jewellery, and a holiday to Broome.

All items and sponsors can be viewed on our Facebook page. Some are already open for bidding on the page,” she said. 

Ms Phillips has been involved in the event since its inception and said it was a cause close to her heart. “I’m just like everyone. Everyone knows someone with alzheimer,” she said. 

She said it’s estimated that one in four people will be affected by Alzheimer's disease, and at present there is no cure. 

Ms Phillips said it was an amazing feeling to be part of the ride each year. “Some riders cross the finish line with tears in their eyes,” she said. 

“To be apart of it, to be on the ground [during the event]. It’s a lot of fun.”

Event organisers are chasing volunteers to act as check points, stand at road crossings and help with the auction, stalls, or on the bar. For more information contact Ms Phillips at wineandhorses@bigpond.com or 0439 957 237.