“Dad was a typical country guy. He was always dressed in a flannel shirt with his shoulder-length hair tied into a ponytail.
Nine years ago we lost him to lung cancer. I was just 12-years-old and my older sister was 15. Since then, my family has participated in various events to help raise funds for cancer research, including an annual charity walk.
This year, I was inspired to do something a little different. I’d recently been thinking about the loving horse my dad left to my sister and me when he passed away. I realised this beautiful horse is one of the last things I have of my dad. So I decided I would plan a Horse-riding Fundraiser to honour him and support cancer research.
His horse is named Boston and they had a really beautiful connection – my dad adored her and you could tell that she really loved him too. She would always come right over when he called her. My sister and I now look after her. She’s a very quiet and gentle horse, but she’s also the boss – and she knows it!
Our family has always had a love for horses. Both my parents rode – mum used to ride in competitions all the time, but dad did it just for the love of it. When my sister and I were growing up we loved listening to all their horse stories and going on rides with them. It was so special to have that time together and I’ll always cherish those memories.
I now have a beautiful one-year-old daughter and it saddens me to know that she’ll never get to meet her pop and that my dad will never get to meet his granddaughter. I hope that together we can make great memories of horse-riding too. Even before she could walk we would sit with her on the back of Boston and gently lead her around, she loved it.
I’ll actually be riding Boston on the day of the charity ride. Everyone is welcome to come and enjoy a day with these beautiful animals and show their support for cancer research. People are encouraged to bring their horses along. We’ll be organising market stalls and entertainment to help make the day as fun as possible.
The fundraiser will be held at Chapman Valley Horse Riding. They have generously donated the use of their 8,000 acres to the cause. It’s located in Howes Valley, which is an hour drive from Pokolbin and a two-hour drive from Sydney and Newcastle. There will also be a camping area for people to stay overnight and make a weekend of it.
The only fee for the day will be $35 per person to ride and $10 per car to camp on the grounds.
Cancer research is a cause close to my heart and being able to do this in the memory of my dad means the world to me. I’m so proud to be doing my part to help support the amazing researchers who are working to end cancer.” ACRF supporter, Stevie Lee Ackley
To register or learn more about the event, please contact Stevie directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you can’t attend but would like to help Stevie reach her fundraising goal, click here.