A total of 462 enthusiastic riders competed in the Vale of Aylesbury Sponsored Ride cross country at RAF Halton in blazing sunshine and perfect conditions.

It was hailed as the most successful year in recent times from several angles, with very few accidents, no hold-ups on the course, great weather, healthy fundraising figures and seamless organisation from all sides. The ride, expected to raise in excess of £18.000,

offered a variety of prizes for junior (under 18) and senior riders. This year the event was lucky to attract some incredibly devoted people who raised huge amounts of money for our nominated charities. The first prize of an iPod Touch for the junior winner went to Olivia Taylor, who raised £340.50. Second prize went to Gemma Bullock with £260, who took second prize last year as well, and third prize went to Courtney Eggleton with £232.50. Fourth in line, though not eligible for a prize sadly, was Rhiannon Fitzgerald with £137.65 – but she’s only six years old so we think she deserves special mention! The senior winner was Alison Collins who raised £360 and whose company has agreed to match it to total £720. However, we are offering a joint first prize this year as Katy Richards raised £660 on her own and we think she deserves a first prize, too! Nikky Barrett came in second with £308 and Charlotte Hulbert was third with £215 – both also sterling efforts.

Susie Bell, Secretary of the ride and one of the event’s organisers, said: ‘Our grateful thanks go to everyone at RAF Halton who helped make the Ride happen again this year: Group Captain Christina Elliot, of course, for giving us permission and for being so supportive, Squadron Leader Matt Cornish for trusting us not to mess it up on the day, Station Police Jim Halliwell for allowing so many riders and spectators to use the course with such apparent freedom and, most of all, Flying Officer Hannah Welch for guiding a bunch of well-meaning civilians through the maze of RAF procedures and regulations with such good humour and efficiency. We know it’s a lot of work for a lot of people around the station and we hope it was worth it for the RAF too. See you next year!’