Graphic: Harold Riley, Terrill Riley-Gibson, Andrew Gibson and Anna Hoogeboom
Four riders, four horses and four dogs have completed an epic ride from Queensland to Tasmania to raise money for the Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS) and Leukaemia Foundation. The team will present their donation to the charities this Thursday 26th March, 10.30 am at the Deloraine Deli, 84 Emu Bay Road, Deloraine.
The unique fundraising idea originated out of a need to transport four horses from Queensland to Tasmania. Self-professed city slicker and ride co-ordinator, Terrill Riley-Gibson thought why not ride them? The idea then developed into The Long Ride 4 Life as a joint community fundraiser to support the two causes closest to their hearts.
The fully self-funded team consisted of four riders. Terrill, who had suffered from a stress-induced heart attack, was joined by her husband Andrew Gibson, who had recovered from Leukaemia after receiving a bone marrow transplant from his brother. Their brush with death was the motivation behind wanting to 'give back' to the charities that had helped them in their time of need.
Terrill's father, Harold Riley, a lifelong stockman who had been rescued by the Flying Doctor in the Queensland outback and Anna Hoogeboom, a Dutch architectural technician and experienced horsewoman completed the team.
The horse ride commenced at Longreach, Queensland and followed many of the stock routes on their journey south through NSW and Victoria. They arrived in Tasmania over three months later having ridden a staggering 3,000 kilometres. During their trek south, they stopped overnight in bush camps and country towns where they received overwhelming support from the locals.
RFDS Tasmania CEO, John Kirwan congratulated the riders on the successful completion of their adventure. "The Flying Doctor sincerely appreciates the support we received from Terrill, Andrew, Harold and Anna. It was truly a remarkable achievement by four people who are helping the RFDS take the finest care to the furthest corners of Australia," John said.
Help keep the Flying Doctor flying and fundraise today.