Santa’s Charity Pony Parade success

The weather stayed dry for Santa’s Charity Pony Parade last Saturday.

The annual festive fancy dress event organised by Ballycastle and Rural Riding Community saw over 30 horses and ponies take to the streets to raise money for the Motor Neurone Disease Association.

Shoppers were treated to a delightful spectacle in Ballycastle Diamond, and spectators were encouraged to take pictures with the horses and get into the Christmas spirit. Members of the riding group were also proud to come out in support of the ‘Save the Dal’ campaign.

The participants showed great imagination and thought in putting together their costumes - there were Santas, reindeer, Christmas trees and even a Christmas dinner! Congratulations to Lucy McKencie, who clinched first prize in the fancy dress competition for the second year running, Marissa McLaughlin who looked beautiful as Elsa from ‘Frozen’, and little Brooke Lowry. The winners were treated to rosettes and goody-bags supported by Brookevale Equestrian Tack-shop, Stranocum.

There were also prizes for Best Dressed Festive Pooch, sponsored by Pets at Home, Ballymena.

At first count the riding group reported raising over £1100 with more donations still to come in the coming week. Since the first Christmas ride in 2012, the group have raised over £2500 for MND NI.

Riding club Secretary, Roisin McGinn, said they would like to thank all their sponsors, participants, money collectors, caterers, Moyle District Council, the PSNI and everyone who helped in the organisation and running of the event. “Thanks also to the people of Ballycastle who gave generously and with open hearts,” said Roisin.

Ballycastle and Rural Riding Community would like to take this opportunity to wish all their members and friends a very happy Christmas. The group will reconvene in 2015, with a pleasure ride at Cam Forest, County Londonderry, on New Years Day. Check Facebook for details.

Photographs by Karenann Toney