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Gus saddles up for birthday fundraiser

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By Fiona Reid
Lockerbie and Lochmaben
Gus saddles up for birthday fundraiser

GUS Little is galloping towards his 80th birthday next month with plans to mark the milestone in style.

Along with his family, he is organising a charity challenge — and everyone’s invited to get involved, on horseback, by bike or on foot.

The Gussy’s Gallop Fun Ride will take place on Sunday September 24 in the fields and roads around Lockerbie, including some of Castlemilk Estate by kind permission of the Buchanan-Jardines. Participants will leave at 12 noon from New Gardens, returning there later in the day to enjoy hospitality provided by the Littles.

Explaining how it came about, Gus said: “I will be 80 on September 27 and we are going all out with a party and the fun ride.

“I am hoping to participate too with my pony Junior and the cart.”

He was Lockerbie Standard Bearer in 1990 and has had a long involvement and interest in all things equine and still enjoys watching racing and attending the Riding of the Marches.

A very special equestrian highlight was being invited to attend the Melbourne Cup in Australia with Iain Jardine Racing, when his grandson Kennie Little was the farrier for horse Nikita.

“It was an unbelievable experience,” he recalls. “I cannot describe it.”

And Gus, who is married to Margaret, has passed on his passion to his family: son Bud and daughters Angie and Alison, as well as seven grandchildren and one great-grandson, who is just one but has already sat on a horse.

They are all looking forward to the event and hoping for a good turnout on the day and to raise as much as possible for their chosen charities: the oncology unit at Dumfries and Galloway Royal Infirmary, Help for Heroes and MacMillan Cancer Support.

Angie said: “Unfortunately dad was diagnosed with metastatic prostate cancer at the end of April, so we just decided to go all out for his birthday.

“We are having an open party afternoon at the golf club too on Saturday September 23 for anyone that knows him. It’s no presents but there will be buckets for charity donations.

“The Sunday fun ride is not just for people with horses, come along with bikes or dogs or if you just want a walk.

“It’s a relaxed dress code but helmets must be worn and children must be supervised. There will be experienced riders stewarding the event.

“Just turn up on the day, it will go ahead whatever the weather.”

Gus added: “It’s for all ages, from 0-80. We really want it to be a bit of fun.”

  • Contact Bud Little, Angie Murray or Alison Voss via Facebook for more information.

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