Mental health trek goes ahead despite tragedy

Mental health trek goes ahead despite tragedy

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Ben Watson, Denise Crosbie, Eliza Allan and Louise Crosbie trekked from Denmark to Cardup to raise money for beyondblue. Photograph – Richard Polden.

A 500-kilometre trek on horseback from the southwest coast to the Shire of Serpentine Jarrahdale has raised valuable awareness and money for a mental health charity.

The Hoofin’ It for Health charity ride from Denmark to Cardup was completed in 16 days by horse riders Denise Crosbie, Ben Watson and Louise Crosbie.

The group’s fourth rider Eliza Allan completed half the journey, however was unfortunately called home due to a family grievance.

Louise Crosbie said the group’s four horses and their packhorse Splash set off on the one-of-kind trip on September 23.

“The day we planned to leave we found Eliza’s other horse Fly, not the one she was taking on the trip, with a really bad cut to his leg in the paddock,” she said.

“Unfortunately he had to be put down so we delayed the start by a day.”

Miss Crosbie said Eliza continued with the ride but decided to head home about half way through due to help her family overcome Fly’s death.

Travelling through countless country towns and stopping at many well-known tourist destinations, such as the Karri Forrest and Gnomesville in the Ferguson Valley, the group trekked on horseback without a support vehicle, prompting plenty of support and a few surprised stares.

“We had plenty of people who were surprised to see us along the way, especially the crosswalk attendants and road workers,” she said.

“Heaps of people cooked beautiful food for us and offered us places to stay and camp with the horses.”

With an initial goal to raise $2000 for mental health charity beyondblue, the group surpassed their expectations raising the first goal before the trip had even commenced.

“So far we have raised over $7000, which was mostly donated online, except for a few that handed over money along the way,” she said.

“I think the horses have learnt a lot from it as well.

“They coped really well in what were sometimes difficult situations.”

Miss Crosbie said they would not rule out another fundraising trip in the future.

For more information or to donate to the cause, visit the Hoofing’ it for Health Facebook page.