A vet who hadn’t been on a bicycle in 40 years has decided to undertake a massive 950-mile charity bike ride to raise funds for international development charity Send a Cow.

BCVA president Andrew Cobner is now training hard for the Land’s End to John O’Groats challenge, which he organised to help raise £50,000 for the charity as part of BCVA’s 50th anniversary celebrations.

In memory

Andrew Cobner
Prior to his training, BCVA president Andrew Cobner hadn’t ridden a bicycle for nearly 40 years.

The money is being raised in memory of former BCVA member and RVC lecturer Andrew Madel, who championed the work of Send a Cow until he passed away in 2013.

The charity helps smallholder farmers in some of the poorest countries in Africa by providing training, tools, seeds and livestock so families can grow their own food and lift themselves out of poverty.

The cycle ride starts on 7 May, with Mr Cobner saying that while more than 30 vets, farmers and friends are participating at various stages, he was persuaded to commit to the whole distance even though he hadn’t cycled for nearly 40 years – and never further than five miles.

‘Mind over matter’

He said: “The training is going well, and it does show the power of mind over matter. I’m sure that, on the ride itself, I will be buoyed up by all the friends and colleagues that will join in at different stages – including the UK CVO Nigel Gibbens, who is joining me for the first four days.”

Other fund-raising events being held for the Send a Cow cause include:

  • Welsh CVO Christianne Glossop walking across Wales
  • The CVOs of the UK, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland climbing Northern Ireland’s highest peak, Slieve Donard
  • Devon vet, wildlife photographer and kayaker Rupert Kirkwood kayaking along the 23 miles of Loch Ness
  • Cycling and walking relays across England and Wales from east to west
  • BCVA members around the country running, cycling, rowing or walking 50 miles, with vets in the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand also running events

For more information, visit the BCVA website and click on the Send a Cow logo. Alternatively, if you’d like to donate, text “BCVA50 £xxx” to 70070.

Photos and updates of the various activities will be posted on Twitter using the #BCVA50 hashtag.

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