Pedalling for a Purpose: Vet’s 400-Mile Quest through Somerset in aid of Vetlife

4 March 2024

On Friday 8th September Vet Oscar Sinfield embarked on an impressive two day 400-mile cycle journey, passing by a total of 130 veterinary practices in aid of Vetlife. The fundraiser called ‘Ride SomerVet’ has raised just shy of its £5,000 target so far, with more donations coming in.

During this epic adventure, Oscar was accompanied by fellow veterinary professionals and colleagues, each contributing to different segments of the journey. Along the route, numerous veterinary clinics showed their support in creative ways. Langford Vets sponsored Ride SomerVet cycling jerseys. Oscar’s own practice, Westfield Vets, organised a fundraiser involving smoothie cycling, while others hosted bake sales, generously offered essential sustenance like bacon butties and cups of tea, provided water and supplies, and even provided a refreshing hose-down for the cyclists upon their arrival.

The journey was no easy feat. The route wound its way through numerous hilly terrains, and the thirty-degree heat presented an additional challenge. However, these weren’t the only obstacles he encountered.

Oscar faced quite a challenge during his journey through Taunton. Two of the practices had moved since he had initially planned his route, leaving him navigating the midday heat without the support crew. Oscar ran out of water and food, and his body began to overheat. Fortunately, this was the moment when Kate Parrish, a farm animal veterinarian who had journeyed all the way from Warwickshire to participate in part of the adventure, came to his rescue. Kate was able to help get the cycle back on track and locate the support team who provided food and poured buckets of water over them to cool them down.

As the first day drew to a close, Oscar encountered a setback when his cycling computer died, leaving him unable to navigate. He decided to conclude his day’s journey around 11:40 pm when he reached North Petherton, opting to end the day’s ride 10 miles short of his original goal. That night he only managed to get three hours of sleep before setting off on the second day of the journey.

As Oscar and his fellow cyclists approached Chew Magna towards the end of day two, they faced their most gruelling challenge yet. One bike had a failing front light and they had lost sight of the support car. This lack of visibility and direction meant they were considering abandoning the cycle, a disheartening prospect just 30 miles from their goal. Fortunately, two colleagues saved the day, organizing a convoy with cars positioned at the front and rear of the group, illuminating the way forward.

Their perseverance paid off when the cyclists reached the finish line at Langford Vets around 1am on the 9th September. They were greeted by a cheering crowd, who celebrated their arrival with confetti poppers and a well-deserved toast of champagne.

Reflecting on his experience, Oscar said, “I would like to thank everyone who supported, sponsored and generally showed enthusiasm and interest for such a worthy cause. I feel utterly privileged to have everybody’s support and to have been able to pull off this feat thanks to everybody’s help. This challenge surpassed all my expectations so thank you all!”

Vetlife expresses its deep gratitude for the support received, and President James Russell remarked, “I am exhausted just reading about this fantastic feat of athleticism. Oscar has helped to highlight the community of veterinary practices which exists across our country. To see colleagues so visibly and keenly helping each other out is as heartwarming as the ride itself is leg-numbing!”

Donate to the fundraiser here.

Visit the Vetlife team, along with Oscar, at BSAVA Congress 2024 on stand A212!

Vetlife Helpline is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year on: 0303 040 2551 or via anonymous email at