IT is not every day horse lovers get to ride on the hallowed turf of Ascot Racecourse and then into royal woodland.

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Yet that dream is set to come true for former Mount Grace School pupil Victoria Martin.

For the 29-year-old and her Exmoor pony, Harry, will be taking to the Berkshire track to take part in Horses for Heroes.

The event, on Saturday, July 10, will see a huge number of horses – 2,010 to be precise – ridden from the racecourse, around Windsor Great Park, and then back to Ascot before racing begins for the toteSport Summer Mile Day.

It will be raising money for charity Help for Heroes, which supports wounded soldiers.

Victoria, who lived in Potters Bar for more than 25 years but now resides in Edgware, North London, said she was looking forward to doing something she would never have had the chance to do otherwise.

She said: “I’m really quite excited about it.

“To ride down the course then go into the woodland will be great.

“And it’s brilliant to know that you’re helping a very worthy cause at the same time.”

And Victoria, who has had an affiliation with horses since she was just three, said the occasion would not be too much for her or her trusty 13-year-old steed.

Harry – known as Galaxy Capricorn in the equestrian community – has won many show competitions, as well as being named Exmoor Pony of the Year in 2005.

Victoria, a gardener, is hoping to donate as much as possible to the cause, but in order to even take part she needs to raise £475 by the end of March.

So far she has almost met her target, but just needs a little extra help.

To sponsor her, contact reporter Simon Wesson on 01707 384185.

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