Long distance rider Kate McMorris set to arrive at Lands End

A HAMPSHIRE vet nears the end of a 1,300 mile horseback ride across Britain.

Kate McMorris and her palomino Marilyn are due to arrive in Land’s End on Sunday – three months after leaving John O’Groats.

Kate is set to raise over £12,000 for two charities – Vetlife and Pets As Therapy – after hitting her initial goal of £5,000.

Kate McMorris and Marilyn leave John o’Groats at the start of their journey.

Pets As Therapy strives to ensure that everyone, regardless of circumstance, can enjoy the companionship of an animal.

Vetlife provides emotional and financial support to those employed in the veterinary profession, which has one of the highest suicide rates.

Kate, from Blackfield, faced a range of challenges including fast-paced traffic, endless wind and rain on the first leg of her journey and difficult terrain.

But she said: “I don’t think I’ll ever forget the stunning scenery, the dramatic skies and maybe most of all the friendliness of strangers.

“Basically, I’ve found the world is full of nice people who will really go out of their way to help you in all sorts of ways.

“Some delivered food and water for Marilyn and sometimes cake and a G&T for me. As weary travelers we couldn’t have asked for more.

“So many people reached into their pockets and donated. It’s not an easy time for anyone right now and I’ve been incredibly touched by everyone’s generosity.”

Daily Echo: Marilyn at Loch Tay.Marilyn at Loch Tay.

The completion of this epic journey should be a bittersweet moment for Kate, Director of Seadown Veterinary Services at Hythe.

“I’m going to be really excited to arrive and deeply relieved to have completed the 1,300 miles without serious incident,” she said.

“It will be great to see my husband Steve and lots of friends who will be there to welcome me, but I might feel a little deflated from such a unique experience.

“It will be strange to reintegrate into daily life and return to work.

Daily Echo: Kate is taking a well-deserved break after a long and tiring day.Kate is taking a well deserved break after a long and tiring day.

“It’ll be weird for Marilyn too. I’m sure she’ll love to be back with her field mates, but she’s in incredibly good shape now, so I’m going to have to keep doing some low-level work to gently get her back into our old riding routine.”

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Earnest L. Veasey