HORSE riders from across Wirral and Cheshire will saddle up this weekend to raise money for a brave little girl battling cancer.

Four-year-old Olivia Phillips, from Little Sutton, has been diagnosed with hepatoblastoma - a rare tumour that originates in the liver and has spread to her lungs - and is currently being cared for at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital.

After hearing about her plight, kind hearted well-wishers rallied together to help support Olivia, her two brothers Liam, 14, and Ryan, five, and parents Louise and Jon.

A Justgiving page set up in Olivia’s honour has already raised £6,635, which will be used to send the family to Disneyland.

The latest fundraising initiative takes place on Saturday when dozens of horse riders are expected to hack from Thurstaston to Parkagate.

The ride will start at Wirral Country Park, with the first riders leaving at 11am and the last by 1pm.

After making their way along the Wirral Way to Park Field in Parkgate for a well-earned break and refreshments, they will return to Thurstaston. The route is around 10 miles.

There will also be a shorter route for lead rein riders and this ride will leave at 12pm.

Riders and their horses are being encouraged to come along in Christmas themed fancy dress.

Organiser Anthea Pilkington said: “I am overwhelmed by the response of Wirral’s large equestrian community who have been touched by Olivia’s story.

“I am really looking forward to seeing all the horses and riders on the day coming together to take part in an activity they love while raising money for a worthwhile cause.”

The ride has attracted sponsorship from local businesses keen to show their support for Olivia and her family. Anthea added: “I am extremely grateful to those who are volunteering and the businesses that are showing their support. I must also mention the ranger at Thurstaston, Josef Hanika, who has strongly supported this event and is actively encouraging the equestrian community to make use of the fantastic bridleway on the Wirral Way.”