News

July 17th 2014

TWO NOTTINGHAMSHIRE SOLDIERS PREPARE TO SADDLE UP FOR EPIC HORSE RIDE

Two Nottingham based Royal Engineers will saddle up their horses and ride across France next month when they take part in The War Horse Ride 2014.

Army Officer Captain Will MacGill from 170 (Infrastructure Support) Engineer Group and Corporal Lyndsey Dove from 350 Field Squadron Royal Engineers, part of 33 Engineer Regiment (EOD), will be part of the 35-strong team that will set out on the 100-miles ride across France over five days.

The horse ride was created by a small group of former cavalry officers to commemorate the 8,500 men and horses of the British Cavalry Division and the crucial part they played in the early months of World War One.

Each person and horse taking part will represent one of the regiment and corps that comprised the Cavalry Division. This includes the Royal Engineer Squadron who Captain MacGill and Cpl Dove will represent and the 9/12th Lancers and Queens Royal Lancers. All the riders will wear the same uniform and carry the same weapons and accoutrements that their predecessors did in 1914.

The soldiers are preparing for the War Horse Ride 2014The ride will start on the 27th August at Le Cateau in Northern France and will see the horse riders follow a route that will take in the sites of some of the most famous cavalry actions of the opening weeks of the war. They will visit locations where the Cavalry Division engaged the German Army whilst also visiting memorials and military cemeteries. The five-day ride will end at Nery on the 1st September.

Captain Will Macgill (43) is a Garrison Engineer with 64 Works Group Royal Engineers, part of 170 (Infrastructure Support) Engineer Group based at Chetwynd Barrack, Chilwell. His Army career, spanning 27-years, has seen him serve all over the world including Northern Ireland, Bosnia, Iraq and Afghanistan. When he’s not working full time in his regular Army career he can be found working on his small holding in Swadlincote with his wife Anne.

“I’ve been riding for the past nine years. My wife had horses, so when I went to Cyprus in 2005 on an unaccompanied tour I took the opportunity to learn to ride. The idea was to take a few lessons, but I really loved it and ended up as the Saddle Club Chairman and I now ride at every opportunity I get.”

Captain Will MacGill from 64 Works Group Royal Engineers, part of 170 (Infrastructure Support) Engineer Group “We will be riding horses provided for us in France. I’m currently getting myself riding fit; we we’ll be riding up to 25-miles a day. I go out horse riding as much as work allows, normally two to three times a week. Some of the time I ride at RAF Cranwell. The stable staff situated at the camp could not have been more supportive. They’ve given me different horses to ride, so I get use to riding horses with different personalities and temperaments so that I don’t become complacent.”

He continued:” It was a great honour to be selected and it encompasses two of my main hobbies; Military History and Horse Riding.”

Corporal Lynsey Dove (31) is a member of Army Reserve unit 350 Field Squadron (Explosive Ordnance Disposal), 33 Engineer Regiment (Explosive Ordnance Disposal) based at Foresters House, Chilwell.

She joined the Army Reserves nine years ago and has served in Iraq and Afghanistan. In civilian life she works as a telecoms engineer for Openreach BT: “I took up horse riding seriously when I was 17-years old. I’ve had a love of horses since I was a child and my parents finally gave in and let me have lessons and its gone from there.”

Corporal Lyndsay Dove from 350 Field Squadron (Explosive Ordnance Disposal), 33 Engineer Regiment (Explosive Ordnance Disposal)Last year she competed in The Royal Windsor Horse Show and this year has entered the Osberton Hunter trials and local show jumping competitions at Blidworth and District Riding Club and Blidworth Equestrian Centre.

She continued: “It’s an amazing opportunity to be selected to represent the Royal Engineers on this ride.

It combines my two passions in life: horses and my second career in the Royal Engineers. It’s going to be a memorable few days; to ride through the battlefields of our ancestors and reflect on the sacrifices they made and pay my respects in this commemorative year, is both an honour and a privilege.”

The duo is also hoping their riding efforts will raise money for the Not Forgotten Association. All the riders are raising money for the Association by sponsorship and donations.

The Not Forgotten Association was founded in 1920 to care for the wounded of all three services, work it continues today, particularly those who are disabled as a result of their service. Anyone would like to make a donation or sponsor can do so at: http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/team/willmacgilLwhr14

Further information on the ride can be found at: www.warhorseride2014.com