Picture gallery: Riders saddle up in memory of Ellie

Horse riders take part in the charity horse ride organised by Kyra Welch, starting at Sly's Farm in

Horse riders take part in the charity horse ride organised by Kyra Welch, starting at Sly's Farm in North Creake. Picture: Matthew Usher. - Credit: Matthew Usher

A poignant ride-out honoured the memory of a popular teenage girl who had a passion for horses and helping people.

The ride, at Sly's Farm, North Creake, near Fakenham, yesterday was also to thank the people who saved a 10-month-old baby's life.

It was organised by Kyra Welch, 19, from North Creake to raise money for Great Ormond Street Hospital.

Her son, Kaiden Griffin, was diagnosed with a range of complex heart problems and had open heart surgery at the hospital just three days after he was born.

He went down to Great Ormond Street last night for further treatment and is due to go for a second open heart surgery in the next few weeks.

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The ride, which was attended by more than 200 people, was held in memory of Miss Welch's close friend Ellie Loades, from Colkirk, who died aged 16 in November after a battle with cystic fibrosis, during which she was also treated at Great Ormond Street.

Miss Welch said: 'Ellie helped me to organise this before she died.

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'She loved doing things for charity and when I was setting everything up today I thought about how Ellie would have been in her element if she had been here, helping out.

'Ellie would have been delighted to see how well it has gone today.'

She added; 'Kaiden is doing really well, the doctors are gobsmacked at the progress he is making. I really think everything will be okay with him.'

Many wore green, Ellie's favourite colour, and Ellie's parents, Nick and Elaine Loades, also attended.

Mr Loades, who had barely ridden three months ago, rode Ellie's horse, Jessie, after receiving training from Ali Ficarra, from Fakenham, who taught Ellie to ride.

Ellie's cousin, Emma Moore, 11, from Sculthorpe, who Ellie taught to ride, also took part.

Mrs Loades said: 'I don't think anyone could have expected this.

'It's been an incredible day and it really shows me how much Ellie meant to everyone.'

Mr Loades said: 'It's been tough learning to ride but Ali and others have supported me so much and I'm so pleased with how the day has turned out.

'Ellie was always helping other people and she will be delighted if she is looking down on us.

'I believe she brought us the sunshine today,'

It is believed that around £2,500 was raised.

Meanwhile, Mr and Mrs Loades are setting up the charity Ellie's Love, in their daughter's memory, to support children with terminal illness and their families.

For more information, call Mr Loades on 07889 157895.

Are you planning to honour a loved one's memory? Email newsdesk@archant.co.uk

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