THIS September, Devon local Gavin Sheppard will be raising money for Ipplepen-based Mare and Foal Sanctuary, but not through your average fundraiser. As a life-long car enthusiast, Gavin chose to drive across 14 countries in 14 days for the Motorscape Rally, one of the longest-running banger rallies in the world.

The aim of the race is to buy cheap and old cars, give them wacky, eye-catching designs and race them across Europe, completing challenges at the same time.

Gavin’s car of choice for the adventure is an old Ford Mustang his wife found on Facebook.

Gavin explains why he chose to support the charity with this sponsored rally: ‘I have seen first-hand the transformational work done by the Mare and Foal Sanctuary both with the horses and ponies in need and the people whose lives have been changed by their equine assisted learning and activities programmes.

‘Charities at the moment need all the help they can get and I’m proud to be doing my bit. Motoring is one of my great passions and doing the Motorscape Rally is a dream come true.

‘Being able to combine my love of cars with giving something back to a good cause is fantastic and driving a ‘pony car’ for real-life ponies just made sense.’

The Mare and Foal Sanctuary rescues horses and ponies that have been abandoned, neglected or abused, offering them a sanctuary for life.

Over 600 horses and ponies are currently under the care of the Mare and Foal Sanctuary. The charity works for all horses and ponies but has particular experience in managing and training feral or unhandled horses and ponies and caring for mares in foal and orphaned or abandoned foals.

Most horses and ponies are cared for through their network of knowledgeable carers. Those horses and ponies with more complex needs are looked after in their peaceful sanctuaries.

The sanctuary also provides human-equine interaction through equine-assisted learning and equine-assisted activities with their rescued horses and ponies to children, young people and adults in the community.

Although the sanctuary is crucial for the equine community, it has recently struggled as the cost of living crisis has increased the sanctuary’s overheads, while simultaneously increasing the demand for its services.

Gavin will be doing daily updates of the trip and is inviting supporters to sponsor him by the mile or with a one-off donation. You can even select songs for his driving playlist (for a small donation) to help cheer him on - or make the challenge even more gruelling!

► To find out more about Gavin’s fundraising challenge, visit