Farmer Jamie Alcock completes mammoth 650-mile Shire horse journey at Elgin's Cooper Park
Get the Grampian Online newspaper titles sent to your inbox every week and swipe through an exact replica of the day's newspaper
A FARMER has completed a mammoth 650-mile journey on Shire horses in memory of his brother, raising £40,000 for two charities in the process.
Jamie Alcock was piped into Cooper Park by Elgin High School pupil Katie Lawrence at around 11.45am yesterday to a cheering crowd of more than 200 people.
He has raised £40,000, of which 75 per cent will go to Police Care UK and 25 per cent will go to The Fire Fighters Charity.
Jamie was inspired to take on the challenge after his brother PC John Alcock died in 2017, 14 years after being left in a coma by a road traffic accident while on duty.
Having started his journey on June 5, with horses Willam and Millie and Boo Boo the dog, it officially lasted 83 days.
After arriving in the park, coming in past Elgin Cathedral, Jamie said: "There are far more people here than I ever expected – I feel quite humbled.
"I feel a mixture of a sense of achievement and sadness that the journey is over.
"The closer I got to Elgin, the stronger the memories of my brother got.
"I feel as if I've achieved something but the focus in my mind has always been on my horses and the charities."
Jamie who was born and brought up in Rothienorman was hospitalised midway through his 650-mile journey and spent eight days in hospital in Dundee with broken ribs.
But never considered quitting: "I never thought about not finishing but a couple of times it got a bit difficult.
"Life is about rolling with the punches and keeping on going and that's what we have done.
"The real journey for me, which I'll do quietly by myself, is going to visit my brother's grave."
Children were allowed to take photos with the horses after Jamie's arrival, with several nurseries enjoying a day in the sun.
Representatives from Police Care UK and The Fire Fighters Charity were also present and gave speeches shortly after Jamie's arrival.
David Hamilton, a trustee for Police Care UK, said: "When John died, we lost a precious member of our family.
"But Jamie has now become a member of that family.
"Thank you so much for everything you have done."
Representing The Fire Fighters Charity, deputy chief officer Ross Haggarty added: "We are grateful and humbled that Jamie has raised these funds for us.
"We are entirely reliant on support and events like this are instrumental for us.
"On behalf of the whole fire fighters family – thank you."