A BRADFORD on Avon horse riding instructor has climbed Britain’s three highest peaks in under 40 hours and raised more than £1,000 in the process.

Jo Rutherford was raising funds for the Riding for Disabled Association. She volunteers at the RDA’s Saxon Group on the Trowbridge Road at Widbrook.

Last week, she and her daughter Holly climbed Ben Nevis in Scotland, Scafell Pike in England and Snowdon in Wales in 36 hours.

The Three Peaks Challenge involved driving 461 miles, walking 25.5 miles and climbing a total of 10,958 feet.

Jo said: “It was a fantastic experience overall. Ben Nevis was very cold on top and very, very wet on the descent, but was my favourite of the three.

“I thought for a while we would have to cancel climbing Scafell as it was so wet and windy overnight. However, the wind dropped enough for us to have a go and, apart from being very cold and wet, wasn’t too bad. I would like to climb Scafell again, but only in good weather.

“By the time we got Snowdon, the weather had cleared and we had a good climb. We used the Llanberis path which is a longer path (over 9 miles total walk).

“Unfortunately it too had its head in the clouds, just like the other two. We realised that we had made really good time and pretty much jogged down the mountain to achieve the 36 hours I had originally wanted to aim for. “

Mrs Rutherford added: “It was very hard, especially on Wednesday when I had to drive between the two mountains but the knowledge of the money being raised kept me going.

“To date, and with more to come in, the total is £1096.93, which I am thrilled about. It was a wonderful feeling to actually reach the top of all three mountains, and feels rather surreal now.

“I would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who has donated towards this challenge. The money will make a massive difference to Saxon group. We are now able to get the new mounting block that we have needed for a while, and the special sheepskin saddle that’ll help some of our riders so much.

“We should also be able to buy our three horses new rugs for the winter to keep them warm and dry, plus other equipment that is needed.”

Riding for the Disabled teaches children and adults with disabilities how to ride a horse. Four members of the Saxon Group have just picked up awards at last month’s RDA national championships in Gloucestershire.

If you wish to sponsor Jo, please go to: http://mydonate.bt.com/events/saxon3peakschallenge/445488