In February 2000 Annie Riggs was airlifted by Devon Air Ambulance (DAA) following a car accident, she suffered back and neck injuries. Compelled to raise funds for DAA, along with husband Martin and family members Ray, Wendy and Tom Hembrow, they decided to draw on their shared interest of vintage tractors and in 2011 they organised a vintage tractor run.
Now in the 6th year the event has been held every September and has continued to exceed every previous year’s event. The first tractor run, held in September 2011, consisted of just 19 tractors and raised £180.40, this September the tractor run saw an impressive 60 tractors make the procession from Highley Farm, Upottery, to Newcott Farm at Yarcombe, and raised an incredible £1,103.02.
To date the Riggs and the Hembrows have raised nearly £4000, with the fundraising of each year’s tractor run surpassing every previous year. Martin Riggs added “Working on farms and living in rural areas of Devon we wanted to help as much as possible. Everyone said they had enjoyed the event and through word of mouth the tractors steadily increased each year. We are grateful for all the support we receive from the tractor drivers, passengers, local businesses, families and friends. We hope to continue raising money for Devon Air Ambulance in the future.”
Fundraising Director Caroline Creer said “We are extremely grateful to the Riggs and the Hembrows for their continued support. We’re pleased that Annie has gone on to make a full recovery following the need of the Air Ambulance in 2000 and that as a family they are able to support us in this way. We know rural communities, such as Upottery and Yarcombe, recognise the value of our service and community support like this is so important to the future of our service. We look forward to seeing this event continue to soar.”
Special thanks go to the Parris family from Newcott Farm, and Highly Farm for supplying a hearty ploughman’s lunch.
If you are interested in entering a tractor into 2017’s tractor run please email Martin. If you are keen to spectate then keep an eye on the events page on the DAA website for next year’s date as well as follow DAA on Facebook.