Well we are safely home, kit unloaded and horses gently grazing in thier paddocks. I for one am looking forward to an early night and here I am dressed in my dressing gown with glass of the champagne to celebrate our victory.
The morning of our finale dawned with a bright sun and the odd shower. Rather different to the forecast, thank goodness. The horses had been mucking around in the night as they had skillfully got themselves all in the same sub division of the paddock. I suspect Spot, the leader of the miscreants in the paddock with a good leap!
Here we all are for a posed photo in front of Osbaston Hll with our kind hosts, Peter and Leanda de Lisle.We set forth at 1030 with a Police escort to get us along a busy main road. Our route was mostly along country lanes and farm tracks. It was great to have Rupert de Lisle with us. He was ably mounted on Spot. At one stage Charlie (Charles James Fox, NOT Charlie Nutting!) crossed a track in front of us causung a fair amount of excitement. Later we came across a very deep and smelly pool, which Mr Stitch did not fancy and Maggie on her pony would never have made, so we did a detour. By 1 pm we reached Market Bosworth itself where in the market squre we were welcomed by Derek Whiting with a glass of hot punch : what a kind thought and how much we appreciated this act of friendship. Then it was off to the Black Horse where we had an excellent lunch by courtesy of the Battle of Bosworth Heritage Centre, who had been such enthusiasts.
It was difficult to drag the riders away from this very comfortable hostelry but battle beckoned and on we went to Ambion Hill. At the bottom we were met by King Richard III and his pikemen and with much shouting and jeering we rode up the hill. At the top we had the opportunity to have a "splurge" and we neatly outflanked King Richard. And so to the Medieval Village to address the assembled company and how good to see so many people.
Then it was "good bye " to the horses and with much speed we changed into 21st Century clothes for the Reception, whre we saw many old friends and met new ones. It was very touching to receive presentation pieces from the Lord Lieutenant, Jennifer, Lady Gretton who has been such a support in all our plans. This was a very kind touch arranged by the Heritage Centre who have been instintingly helpful during our planning.
Beating Retreat followed although the free fall drop had to be cancelled due to high winds. As we listened to the wonderfully familiar tunes we looked out onto a classic English countryside wreathed in sunshine and cloud. Here I certainly reflected on a happy if demanding week. Above all we were incredibly well supported by a lot of good and kind people, then the horses, whonever let us down. Special mention must be made of Jack Tarr who as the Regional Director of Fundraising did a fantastic job ably assisted by Sylvia in setting up all the events at Bosworth.
Dinner followed with over 90 people attending and this was cheering for us all. Us riders were all made to work, with Arthur, assisted by Nick and Michael doing the auction of an amusing and interesting picture with SAS connections and then I introducing Richard who as ever was fascinating and amusing. Poor Thatch, his intelligence drawn into question but all acknowledged that he had a great heart as they all have.
Thank you to the riders all seen in the above photos, they have been fantastic and so far I think we may have raised about £50,000. But there is still time to add to the kitty on www.justgiving.com/henrytudorride.
I also thank those who are behind the riders , the wives and girlfriends who have supported us in one way or another. Lizzie, Jessica and Bathsheeba who let their men disapear on this merry jape, Celia who drove backwards and forwards getting the costumes to and from Dorking as well as fixing the little china dishes, Cally who valiantly came and drove us around in Wales and finally Virginia and Maggie who joined in the fun at the end of the ride.
When I get some other photos from Arthur and Jim I will post a last and final blog with the best of those photos. Thank you blogger for looking all this up.