Denman WRHS Charity Horse Ride braves weather for successful 2019 turnout

FOR more than three decades, the streets of Denman have been graced with a horse ride, which brings in hundreds of participants and draws a fantastic crowd all in the name of a crucial charity.

The Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service (WRHS) is known all too well by those in the Upper Hunter, and fundraisers such as these allow it to continue running free of charge, and to continue saving lives.

Despite windy and unpleasant weather, the event was again a success with 152 riders of all ages and walks of life taking part.

President of the Denman Support Group (DSG) Tim Freeman said the commitment of the attendees was admirable in the face of unfavourable circumstances.

"It was a pretty good turn out for the conditions we were in, we can't do much about the wind, or how dry it is or the cold" he said.

"It's just the generosity of people wanting to actually come and ride for a good cause that's really impressive."

While they don't yet have an estimate for how much was raised, they believe that between the entry fees and post-ride activities - such as a post ripping competition and farm goods auctions - they will be able to make a sizeable contribution to WRHS.

Mr Freeman, who has been involved with the event in different roles for almost a decade now, gave a special thanks to the Lions Club, which provided cakes and slices for morning tea, which saved money for DSG and delighted the taste buds of riders.

He mentioned how pleasing it was to see a broad range of people there, and said it was their intention to encourage a diverse range of attendees.

"That's what it's targeted as, a family day out and a family ride and a beginners ride and a nice stroll, there's no prize money that's for sure," he stated.

Despite being a lengthy day, lasting from 7am through to late evening, many participants stuck around and enjoyed the atmosphere as well as donating money.

Finally, Mr Freeman took the chance to discuss the importance of WRHS and the role it plays in the region.

"They're unreal, probably people closer to the coast or the major cities don't realise how important it is out here," he said.

"Being an hour or two away from a major hospital, it's the difference between life and death for us."