Pub landlady Tracie Martin has always thought about doing something adventurous.
So when her mum Mary was diagnosed with breast cancer, she decided it would be the perfect opportunity to do something daring – and raise money for a charity that supports people with cancer.
Tracie, 42, who runs The Barley Mow, and her sister Debbie Stevenson, 44, the landlady of The White Horse in Gosport, plan to travel 200 kilometres through Mongolia on horseback in July next year.
Their expedition in aid of Breast Cancer Campaign is expected to last 12 days and they will experience all kinds of extreme weather. They also plan to camp out in the wilderness.
Though Mary made a full recovery after being diagnosed last year, Tracie and Debbie want to help those families that aren’t so lucky.
Tracie says she doesn’t feel too nervous about riding on a horse because she used to do it frequently prior to joining the pub trade.
But she is keen to get a few lessons in before her big challenge and is hoping Crofton Manor Equestrian Centre, in Stubbington, will sponsor her a lesson a week in the run-up.
‘I am feeling quite excited and apprehensive about the trip,’ Tracie says.
‘It’s going to be very tiring and very hard work but it will be extremely worth it. Mongolia is famous for having three seasons in one day. We expect it to be extremely hot and wet at the same time. Our mum was considering joining us but because of her health she didn’t think she would be up to it.’
In order to embark on the trip the family duo need to raise a minimum of £9,000 in sponsorship.
‘At the moment we’re both racking our brains for ideas for fundraising,’ Tracie explains.
One of the events they are looking to hold is a huge fundraiser complete with an auction, raffle and a party with a five-course sit down meal at a sailing club in Gosport in April.
Tracie says that her pub customers have been extremely supportive and one anonymous customer has given her £500 towards the trip.
‘Everyone at the pub is really excited about it,’ she says. ‘I get quite a few business owners in here and they are considering giving some of their tax bill to the charity, which is great.’
The event has been organised by Discover Adventure, which will supply Tracie and Mary with their horses. They are the only people to have signed up to the trip so far, but more are expected to sign up nearer the time.