Despite dreadful weath-er on one day of the White Horse Challenge, walkers who took part have raised £17,000 for the Wiltshire Air Ambulance.
Organisers of the event, sponsored by the Gazette and Herald and Wiltshire Times, were surprised and delighted at the amount raised.
Richard Edwards, of co-organisers Monahans, said: “In the current climate it’s quite exceptional.
“Most charities are struggling and many donations are down on last year because times are tougher.”
Corporate sponsorship, including from AMD Digital, Wheelers of Westbury and The Consortium helped boost the amount raised.
The White Horse Challenge is held on a weekend in July and people walk between seven and 55 miles, taking in some of Wiltshire’s white horses.
This year walkers experienced some of the toughest conditions in the event’s
history. It rained virtually all day and the ground was muddy in places, although Sunday was much better.
The event has been well supported over the last seven years and, including this year, it has raised nearly £90,000 for the charity.
The other organisers of the event are Rygor Commercials and Rocking Horse Nursery.
Caroline Corrigan, the head of fundraising for the Wiltshire Air Ambulance, said: “This year’s donation is a staggering £17,000 and would not be raised without the combined efforts of the organisers, sponsors and walkers.
“The overall amount raised from this annual event is over £87,000, which is truly
amazing.  We look forward to making the White Horse Challenge of 2013 even more successful.”
Next year’s challenge is on July 6 and 7.