MORE than 100 riders are expected to swing into the saddle next week for a leisurely charity horse ride to help a Kiama youngster.
The ride, hosted by the Illawarra Horse Trail Riders club, will raise money to buy equipment for Kiama High School student Kayla Gibson, 12, who suffers from rare bone disorder Kniest dysplasia.
Kayla is unable to support her own body weight, has had numerous surgeries for scoliosis and is wheelchair-bound.
"We're hoping to raise a good amount of money for Kayla and her mum to improve access in and around her home," club spokeswoman Ann Garard said.
On the day, riders will wend their way from Stoney Range Pony Club, through picturesque farmland to Dunmore, and back.
"Everyone seems to have a great time, it's enjoyable getting out in the fresh air in the countryside because there's not a lot of areas where you can ride off the road these days," Ms Garard said.
The club had spoken with relevant landowners.
"The club has managed to get permission from a number of landowners and we're very grateful"
Although first held in 1998, the ride became known as the Derek Readman Memorial Charity Ride in March 2008 after Mr Readman, a founding member of the club, lost his battle with cancer at the age of 54.
The September 23 ride departs from the pony club at 9.30am, returning about 3pm for afternoon tea.
Riders aged 18 and under must wear a helmet, and those aged 16 and under must be accompanied by an adult.
Visit www.nominate.com.au/equest/nominate.asp to register.