A Suffolk-based rider has completed the Hack 1,000 Miles challenge with her 24-year-old cob gelding Charlie.

Kirsty Cyprus and her veteran gelding completed the distance in a year.

“We started the challenge because I realised how much we enjoyed hacking,” says Kirsty, 45. “What started as local hacking turned into wonderful memories and the best rides of my life.”

With two other horses to care for in addition to Charlie, as well as a busy retail job, Kirsty had to squeeze her rides in wherever possible — including some early starts.

“The hardest part was to ride at 4am,” she confesses. “But it was lovely to share stories with colleagues and customers about our adventures. They kept asking us to keep going, and share photos too.”

At 14.3hh, veteran cob Charlie isn’t Kirsty’s usual type of horse.

“My other two horses, Carl and Percy, are both ex-racers. I’ve owned them for six years and Charlie for two.

“I never went looking for [Charlie], we just crossed paths.”

Kirsty describes her first encounter with Charlie as “love at first sight”.

“His owner was trying to find someone to share him, but I fell in love with him and got him,” smiles Kirsty. “I never could have imagined how wonderful he is.”

The pair have since shared some special moments together during their 1,000 miles, including sunrise beach rides and swimming in rivers, which helped to keep them motivated.

“We kept finding new places to ride and discovered so many new routes. We met some lovely riding buddies too,” says Kirsty.

“I reached out and put things on social media and met people through that in the area.

“We discovered hacking alone towards the end and this kept us going too.”

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