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Friday, 21 November 2014

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Top fundraiser is face of Jennings' new Blazing Saddles beer

A postman's face has been emblazoned on beer pumps across the country as a reward for raising the most cash on a charity bike ride.

Jennings pump photo
Ian Clements on the Blazing Saddles pump

Ian Clements, from Greysouthen, near Cockermouth, was determined to see a cartoon version of himself appear on a local brewery’s new Blazing Saddles beer.

And to see his dream turn into a reality, the jolly postman stacked up an impressive £1,431 in sponsorship from this year’s Jennings Rivers Ride.

The 55-year-old’s face will not only appear in Cumbrian pubs, but in all Jennings’ and Marston’s pubs across the country.

For Ian, raising the money was no mean feat as all his donations came in small amounts. Many of his customers sponsored him for a couple of pounds as well as friends and family.

The postie says it will take quite a bit of time to get used to seeing his face staring back at him across the bar at his local pub.

“I am getting quite a bit of stick. People saying I’ll put folk off their pint, but I can give as good as I get, so it’s okay,” he said.

“I’ve raised money every year (for the rivers ride) because I figured if I have to get saddle sore, I’m doing it for a reason.

“It’s great the beer is called Blazing Saddles, because that’s what it feels like to take part in these long bike rides.”

This year’s 38-mile ride saw more than 1,000 people taking part, who between them raised £23,000.

The money went to Cumbria Community Foundation and its chief executive, Andy Beeforth, said: “Ian has raised more than £1,900 in three years, which is just great. We’ve got a great partnership with Jennings Brewery. Every year people are setting out to take part in the Jennings Rivers Ride to raise money for our charity, which in turn helps good causes across Cumbria.

“It’s a win win situation.”

When the foundation approached the brewery, asking for ideas to encourage riders to raise funds a decision was made to tie up the launch of Blazing Saddles beer with a competition to see who could raise the most money.

Jennings Brewery manager Gaynor Green said: “Our initial sponsorship helped get the first Jennings Rivers Ride up and running and we have been committed to it for the past three years.

“It’s an event we really care about because the rides all follow routes that were devastated by floods in 2009.”

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