Pedal for Paws cycling event raises thousands

Sally and Ethan with Sophie and Connor
Sally and Ethan with Sophie and Connor

Canine Partners held its inaugural Pedal for Paws cycling event from its Southern Training Centre in Heyshott.

The event included three cycle routes (16, 29 and 52 mile options) taking in the South Downs National Park.

Claire Cannon and Sally Ethan

Claire Cannon and Sally Ethan

The charity have raised more than £4,000 thanks to the event, which took place on Sunday, October 9.

More than one hundred people took part in the Pedal for Paws cycling challenge

In addition to the many local participants, the event saw a team from Grayshott Spa, Surrey as well as Invictus Games gold medalist and former RAF aircraftsman Mike Goody take part.

The money will help them train more life-changing dogs for disabled people.

Cyclists setting off

Cyclists setting off

The dogs are taught to open doors, dress and undress a person and even load and unload a washing machine, giving back a disabled person their confidence and dignity.

Among those watching the event was Sally Whitney who is supported by canine partner Ethan, a Labrador cross golden retriever.

The 29-year-old from Brighton said: “I love being part of Canine Partner events as there is such a community atmosphere.

“It was fab seeing the cyclists pedal through the finish line, especially knowing they had put in so much pedal power on behalf of people like me who benefit massively from having a canine partner.

Mike Goody setting off on Amble route

Mike Goody setting off on Amble route

“Everyone was shouting and waving at the cyclists to help cheer them on.

“I had to be there on the day as my carer Sophie and her partner Connor was taking part.

“It’s unbelievable what people put themselves through to help raise funds for the charity, to directly help people like me. Canine Partners has helped me in so many ways.

“Ethan is a huge part of my life and he is more than an assistance dog – he’s my best friend and independence personified. I don’t know where I would be without him.

“It’s great to think that even more people can be partnered with a dog like my Ethan thanks to this event.”

Find out more about Canine Partners at www.caninepartners.org.uk.

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