Charity ride raises thousands


Over £14,000 was raised for the Kent Surrey Sussex Air Ambulance service at a charity ride through the grounds of Bilsington Priory Estate, near Hamstreet last weekend.

With many of the 158 riders who registered for the event raising further sponsorship in addition to their £25 entry fee, the total sum raised may be even higher.

Riders enjoying their freedom during the KSS charity ride at Bilsington Priory

Riders of all ages and horses of all breeds tackled the seven-mile course which took riders across undulating terrain through private woodlands and grassland with far-ranging views across Romney Marsh. Thirteen year-old Lexi Rose Baas from Hamstreet took part aboard ex-racehorse ‘Ballycahane’, the first time she had ever ridden the thoroughbred after her own horse had lost a shoe the night before. “He was fantastic ” she declared, after completing the course with friends Alanna Beharry and Connie Bovingdon.

Happiness is a horse…a rider on the KSS charity ride poses for the photographer.

Lauren Simmons, head of events for KSS Air Ambulance said: “We were so pleased to host KSS Ride, our sponsored horse-riding event, at Bilsington Priory Estate last Sunday. To date, over £14,000 has been raised for the air ambulance charity Kent Surrey Sussex (KSS) and we expect that figure to continue rising over the coming week.

“A big thank you to our sponsors, Fidelity International, to all the riders that participated and to the owners of Bilsington Priory, for their support and generosity. Our event wouldn’t have been possible without the help and support from our wonderful team of volunteers, so a big thank you to them too!”

The KSS volunteer team at the Bilsington Priory charity ride

She added: “We have had lots of riders say that they would like to return again next year, so the date of our next KSS ride will be announced shortly.”

A fitting, albeit total surprise conclusion to the day, was a low-level fly-past from the RAF display team, the Red Arrows, who just happened to be returning from the Folkestone air display. “The perfect end to a perfect event,” said one on-looker.

The Red Arrows, a surprise conclusion to the KSS charity ride

KSS Air Ambulance is 90% funded by public contributions, so fundraising events such as charity rides are a vital source of income for the service. To find out more about their life-saving work please visit

Image Credits: Andrew Wickens , KSS .

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