Great French Ride - a unique journey of exploration undertaken by one
woman and her horse around the seven most important wine
producing-regions in France. This continuous equine-vinous loop will be
the first ever ride of its kind to be conducted by an Englishwoman. In
just nine weeks she will ride over 500 miles across rugged terrain and
around vineyards of every shape and size, staying with her horse in
local farmhouses, (Château Lander Robinson in the Languedoc) and grape
Tips from the Horse's Mouth - a
regular flow of information relayed back to United Kingdom, reporting
not only on visits to food and wine producers but exploring the
landscape and history of the regions experienced along the route.
Bishop and Lily aim to raise £50,000 for three charities - listed
below. By February 2002 they had already raised just over £8,000.
Victoria Bishop has spent 17 years in the wine
industry - from wine merchant to wine-making in Australia and France.
She has passed the WSET exams and has conducted wine appreciation
classes. Until recently she ran her own PR/marketing company (with
clients such as Champagne Veuve Clicquot, The London International Wine
& Spirit Fair, Hunters Wine NZ, and Bodegas Terrazas,
Argentina), when she decided to give it all up in order to undertake
this unique project. Victoria has seen many countries from the saddle,
but has only ever studied France from the ground.
Lily is a
thoroughbred mare (official breeding name: 'Pushy Woman') with a taste
for adventure and an occasionally eccentric character. Lily is
currently stabled in Wiltshire. Ribot, her great-great-grandfather was
one of only two horses ever to win the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe twice
- this will be Lily's own 'Tour'.
Victoria, Lily and Dromara, the second horse, will
leave England on 25 April and ride throughout May and June completing
the expedition on 27 June 2002.
Victoria and Lily will leave the United
Kingdom in late April 2002 and commence The Great French Ride in the
Loire Valley. From there they will trot through the following regions:
Bordeaux, Languedoc-Roussillon, the Rhône Valley, Burgundy, Alsace and
cross the finishing post at Verzy in Champagne.
Regional hosts to date include: Diana Sichel at
Château d'Angludet in Bordeaux, Nerida Abbott at Abbott Sneyd Anderson
SARL in Languedoc, Delphine de Billy at Pol Roger in Champagne, and
'The Finishing Post' reception at Verzy with Veuve Clicquot.
Victoria will be taking Dromara, the spare horse for back up, there
will be the opportunity for visiting riders to share some of these
unique experiences. To date this includes: Jilly Goolden, Clare
Gordon-Brown, Master of Wine, Pippa Woods, Seckford Wine Co, Jane Hunt,
Master of Wine, Susan Lowe, and journalists from the English and French
equine and travel press.
WaterAid - 50 per cent (Reg.
Charity No: 288701) - works with people from 15 countries in Africa and
Asia to improve their quality of life through lasting improvements to
water sanitation and hygiene using local skills and practical
The Fortune Centre for
Riding - 40 per cent (Reg. Charity No: 274135) - offers
therapeutic opportunities to young people who suffer from learning and
behavioural difficulties via horse riding and care.
The Wine and Spirit Trade Benevolent
Society - 10 per cent (Reg Charity No: 1023376) - offers
sheltered housing for the aged and those in need from the Wine and
Spirit Industry. It also provides grants and support for those in their
Barlow Doherty Design &
Advertising - logo design and artwork
Manic Films, Pinewood Studios -
George Smith Horse
Boxes and Sopexa UK (France's agricultural
export arm) - the horse box
(European) Ferries - ferry crossings
Saracen Feeds - Enduro 100 Horse
Anglo Overseas -
distribution of horse feed in France
Place Health Clubs - personal fitness trainer
Southern Water and
Armitage Bucks Communications - media training
Team MB Polo - clothing for the
For further details of how we can snaffle
your support please contact Victoria by email at email@example.com or
by phone (+44 020 7792 5127) or fax (+44 020 7792 3919).
To make a donation simply send a cheque made out to
'The Great French Ride' to
The Great French
4 Bramley Arms
1 Bramley Road