A HORSEWOMAN who has not ridden for two years has pledged to brush up her skill to take part in a 150km sponsored ride in Egypt.

Miss Sarah Olney, of Thornton Watlass, is one of about 40 people who have signed up for the Pyramid ride for the International League for the Protection of Horses.

The six-day trek takes them across desert to oasis settlements in temperatures of up to 25C. They spend four nights camping during the trip, which begins on October 27.

Miss Olney, whose parents live at West Underbanks, near Richmond, has raised £600 of the £2,000 she must pay to take part in the ride.

Some fundraising events fell foul of foot-and-mouth restrictions, but she managed to go ahead with other plans, including a dawn-to-dusk sponsored silence.

Proceeds from a garden party for family and friends on Sunday will add to the kitty and she plans to hold a silent auction. As an aromatherapist, she also plans to donate part of her takings to the charity.

"The ILPH is trying to ban live export of horses from the UK to the rest of Europe and I wanted to support that work," she said.

The trip also presented her with a personal challenge. "We will be riding little 15hh Arab horses, so I have to lose weight. I joined Weight Watchers and have shed almost a stone and have another ten pounds to go."