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The alternative Parish Walk to be recreated

After an historical Manx Telecom Parish Walk this weekend, attention is now turning to next year’s event.

It’s been announced, the 100th anniversary of a unique moment in the history of the race will be celebrated in 2013 when a team of riders complete the 85 miles distance on horseback.

A relay team of riders and horses will mark the achievement of a Douglas chemist who rode his horse over the entire route in 1913.

The little known story saw a 62 year-old man, John Young, ride his horse into the lead ahead of 12 walkers, only for the horse to lose a shoe half way round, leading to a long delay.

He eventually finished in 23 hours.

Young was the great grandfather of former Parish Walk winner Graham Young.

He joined the walkers shortly after the start of the 1913 race, making his own start from nearby stables on a February evening.

Reports at the time say he stopped many times on the way round to speak to farmers and spectators and he found many sections of the course very uncomfortable for riding, travelling over roads which were then basically rough tracks, especially in places like The Sloc and Dalby.

The unique event will happen next year, one week before the 2013 Parish Walk. It will be staged on a Sunday, starting at 6am, to cause minimal traffic congestion.

It’s being organised by the Isle of Man branch of the British Horse Society, involving local horse riders and hopefully some equestrian personalities from the UK.

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