War Horse Memorial Ride at Birch Hill


Riders and walkers on Rakahuri Rd

It’s over a month ago that we took part in the memorial ride for the war horses.  It went off pretty well with an overcast day that kept the heat down.  Kirsty rode and I walked the 6km route.  I was told there were around 180 riders on the 10km route so maybe 250 riders all up.  Theresa Rosanowski, had done a pretty hot job to pull this together and have it go off without mishap.

Participants were given purple ribbons in recognition of the Purple Cross Society, founded in 1914 to provide veterinary care to horses during WW I.  Theresa, also made the point that not one horse was given an award for bravery but six pigeons were!

The night before there had been an evening at a hall in Rangiora with various guest speakers and a screening of Paul Sanderson’s documentary “All the King’s Horses” and ending with Mike Boyd reading his poem “Dad and WWI Horses”, the last verse below.

“…..This verse does not have a happy ending

as I see no glory in a war.

I believe there are only ever losers

as those brave horses surely were.

For ten thousand of our finest horses

helped Great Britain win the war.

 Nine thousand nine hundred and ninety six

are not buried on our shores,

for when the fighting finished

they brought home but a very, very, miserly four.”

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