Autistic youngster Alfie Wilton is set to ride 100 miles on his pony Poppy in a bid to raise cash for charities close to his heart.
Seven-year-old Alfie will be supported by the Amber Valley Riders at the fundraising ride in Shipley Park, on April 17.
Rider Denise Beastall heard about Alfie’s bid after meeting him at a sports award night last year, and decided to rally the riders group to join him.
Alfie suffers from autism and ADHD but has not let them stand in his way, and is an accomplished junior rider. Joined by faithful stead Poppy, the youngster completed a 47-mile last year and wanted to push himself to go one better this year.
Denise said: “I first met Alfie and his family – including mum Debbie and grandma Jean – at the sport endurance awards night 2015, when I was so taken by his reaction of being the champion that he brought a tear to my eye.
“As a fellow rider, it was lovely to see a junior rider so proud, I had my photo taken with this special boy and he told me he was completing 100 miles this year.
“My jaw fell open as did his mum’s and grandma’s. These wonderful ladies walk the courses with Alfie despite both suffering with debilitating arthritis.
“The next day I was chatting with Debbie about Alfie over Facebook and she asked what I thought of him being able to achieve this goal.
“I told her he could do it and if there was anything I could do to help him to achieve it I would.
“Needless to say it kind of snowballed. I’m proud to be part of team Alfie.”
Alfie and his family have decided raise £300 for three of their chosen charities, by collecting sponsorship. Money raised will be divided equally between vv The National Autistic Society, Chrons in Childhood Research Association (CIRCA) and Cancer Research UK.
For more information or to sponsor Alfie visit: http://m.virginmoneygiving.com/AlfieandPoppys100hoofchallenge.