PUTTING the finishing touches on an upcoming plan for an epic fundraising journey is Sandra Schmid who runs the Hairy Henry Care Farm (www.hairyhenry.com), helping children and adults with special needs.

This March and April, Sandra plans to travel on horseback across Ireland, from Blacklion in Co Cavan to her Care Farm near Bantry, West Cork, along an old historical route know as the ‘Ireland Way’ or the ‘Beara-Breifine Way’.

She’s undertaking it to raise matching funds to build a barn to hold their therapeutic sessions for riders of all ages. Fundraising started in 2018 and by 2021, building started but there’s more to be done to finish it to public safety standards.

“We have confirmation from LEADER for grant aid for this project, plus we raised around €25,000 within our community so far - but we need a similar amount again to be able to open the doors of our therapy barn to the families we work with.

“So I decided to undertake a fundraiser trip with the purpose of attracting supporters and raise awareness for our small but very effective and worthwhile project, and the wonderful benefits horses can bring to people’s lives. I also hope to spread cheer and joy and well-being among anyone my horse and I meet along the way,” said Sandra.

No rider has apparently undertaken this particular journey since Donal Cam O’Sullivan Beare did it in 1603. A distance just short of 600km, Sandra plans to do it partnered by Flora, the daughter of the original Hairy Henry after whom the Care Farm is named.

“I plan to start this trip at the end of March, covering a distance of up to 35km per day, reaching my destination within two-three weeks. I am covering my own expenses along the way, 100% of the funds raised along the way will go towards our therapy barn for the benefit of all the families who we work for.

“I will be posting on Facebook about this journey @HairyHenrysHomewardBoundTour and I have a fundraiser set up where people can donate if they wish, https://www.gofundme.com/f/hairy-henrys-homeward-bound-tour,” said Sandra.