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A Rollercoaster Ride: From Highs to Lows and Back Again

Ah, the life of a noble crusader for a cause—it's a journey filled with twists, turns, and the occasional unexpected detour. Today's expedition from Exeter to Wincanton was no exception, dear readers, as I found myself riding the rollercoaster of emotions from peak to valley and back again.

Picture this: the dullness of a showery day, the wind is in my grey hair, and I'm still basking in the afterglow of yesterday's triumphs. But alas, fate had a curveball to throw my way. Upon arriving at Wincanton, I received news that would dampen even the sunniest disposition—another fundraising group had beaten us to the punch, leaving our Around The Courses campaign sidelined like a rookie jockey in a field of seasoned pros.

But fear not, for I am not one to be deterred by a mere setback! With bucket collections and public notices off the table, I embarked on a solitary stroll around the course, soaking in the sights and sounds of a bustling Monday meeting. It was a cold one, to be sure, but the atmosphere of camaraderie amongst the crowd warmed my soul like a hearty bowl of stew on a winter's eve.

And just when I thought the day couldn't possibly take a turn for the better, fate intervened once more. I crossed paths with an old friend from my Croydon days—Mr. Noel Abbott, a beacon of hospitality who graciously offered us a bed at his house in Chepstow and treated us to a lovely Indian meal in the town. Truly, the universe works in mysterious ways.

But wait, dear readers, there's more! As if orchestrated by the racing gods themselves, Julie's equine companion under the Purple Reins Racing banner—expertly managed by our friend Stuart Lewis—galloped to victory at Newcastle, superbly trained by the talented Rebecca Menzies. Despite being confined to the William Hill shop at Wincanton, our cheers reverberated through the halls like thunder on the horizon. Congratulations to Odd Socks Havana and the entire team—a triumph for the ages!

So, while today may have brought us back down to earth with a bump, let us not dwell on the lows, but rather revel in the highs. With £207 in online donations, our total stands at a commendable £1,086 raised for Dementia UK. Every penny a testament to the unwavering generosity of our supporters. Online donations can be made here if you want to help us make a difference to Demantia UK:

As we gear up for another day of equestrian escapades at Hereford, let us march forward with heads held high and hearts full of hope. For though the road may be long and winding, with its fair share of bumps and hurdles, the destination—victory in the fight against dementia—is worth every step. Until next time, dear readers, keep spreading the word, keep the faith, and may your horse always cross the finish line first.

Thank you,

Graham Arnold

Chief Crusader, Around The Courses

8th April 2024

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1 Comment

You overcome everything with positivity and a smile. Keep up the great work Graham. But most of all enjoy your experience. Look forward to seeing and helping you in Fos Llas and Chepstow races

Diolch Graham 🙏❤️

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