Veteran horsewoman honoured for exceptional achievement
Jane Dotchin, from Hexham in Northumberland, England, has been recognised for her efforts by the British Horse Society (BHS) and received an Exceptional Achievement Award.
The 80-year-old became an online sensation during her 600-mile journey from Hexham to Augustus in Scotland’s north and back - which she takes each year - with her pony Diamond and disabled dog Dinky who travels in a saddlebag.
For most of her life, Jane has operated a small riding school in Hexham where she has shared her love and knowledge of horses with thousands of local young people and adults.
Jane lives off the grid, cares for her horses by hand, and uses her own intuition rather than high-tech riding gear.
This also meant the news she had won came as quite a surprise.
“I didn’t know what I’d won it for,” Jane said to the BBC. “And of course I don’t have internet, no modern technology at all. So I had to get a friend to use hers to find out what it was about.”
Having made the journey over so many years, Jane has become well-known along the route.
“I’ve done the route so many times now and I know people all along the way and it’s nice to see everybody again, everybody’s very kind and generous,” she said.
Jane was stopped and filmed by stunned resident Rab Black, who shared the clip on Facebook in September last year.
“Well they always seem so surprised I’ve travelled so far, but I say well at one time when we didn’t have cars, everybody travelled by horse.”
Images: Hexham Courant, Hyndshaw Stables