Cattle vet Gareth Hateley and his son Ben are saddling up for a mammoth task of cooperation and cycling prowess as they prepare to travel from Land’s End to John O’Groats on a tandem bike.    

Cattle vet Gareth Hateley and his son Ben are saddling up for a mammoth task of cooperation and cycling prowess as they prepare to travel from Land’s End to John O’Groats on a tandem bike.

Mr Hateley (left) and his son will be tandem biking from Land's End to John O'Groats to raise money for the VBFThe pair will stay with veterinary friends along the 1,000-mile route and are hoping to complete the journey in 16 days.

Mr Hateley – honorary secretary at the BCVA and veterinary surgeon at the AHVLA – told Vetsonline he was looking forward to the challenge, while admitting a certain amount of apprehension that the sun will still be shining into August.

“We’re raring to go and hoping the weather will be kind to us, but as the Swedes say: ‘there’s no such thing as bad weather, just bad kit’ – so we’re packed with plenty of luminous and waterproof stuff,” he said.

“We’ve also been hammering up hills recently – Devon and Cornwall will be the worst part of the journey in terms of steepness and we’re going over Dartmoor on days one and two.”

The pair are raising money on behalf of the Veterinary Benevolent Fund (VBF), after Mr Hateley heard how the charity supported an old university friend of his – Clare Chilcott – after she developed a brain tumour.

Discussing the help she received from the VBF Mrs Chilcott said: “As students we imagine our veterinary careers stretching out happily before us until we retire, financially secure after our lives as vets.

“But, unfortunately, things don’t always work out like that – as in my case. The VBF can’t turn the clock back and change lives, but they can lighten the load enormously for vets and their families who have not been as lucky as others.”

Commenting on the forthcoming journey Mr Hateley said he was looking forward to the different sights along the way, as well as the four-star spa hotel he and his son have booked into when they finish. He also urged any interested colleagues to join them for a cycle along the way.

So far, the Hateleys have raised more than £1,100 for the VBF. To make a donation, visit Mr Hateley’s My Donate page.

VBF will be updating people on the father and son’s progress on its Facebook page.

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