A WEST FIFE actor is to journey from John O’Groats to Land’s End for the Cystic Fibrosis Trust in honour of his late friend.

But Louis Hall won't be alone as he's taking on the great distance with a highland pony called Irelanda and is hoping to raise £10,000 from 'The Big Hoof'.

The 24-year-old was inspired to do the challenge for family friend Leo Van Heyningen, who died from Cystic Fibrosis in 2015 aged just 26.

After spending lockdown at his family home near Oakley, he reflected on how vulnerable people with the life-threatening condition are at this time and decided to raise funds to fight the disease.

He expects the ride to take around 50 days by aiming to complete 20 miles every day.

Louis told the Press: "Leo's parents came to watch me in a play in London in January and they have just been really encouraging and supportive of me.

"I didn't realise at the time but after reflecting, I've thought about how hard it must be not having your son there. I am now not so much younger than he was when he died.

"I'm so lucky to have good health and if Leo had got COVID then he wouldn't have survived.

"He was like an extra cousin to me and all my memories of him are being this extremely positive person and he impacted so many people.

"He knew his time was limited and chose to live it full of love and hope. He was a hero to everyone that met him and he never wasted a second.

"I just thought this guy needs to be remembered.

"Nothing that anyone does can overturn the suffering that Cystic Fibrosis inflicts upon an individual and their family but with each step that Irelanda and I take, and with every donation big and small, we will all be fighting the disease and helping to prevent further loss in the future."

Louis, who is an actor based in London, has been in a few short films over the last couple of years but also works part-time as a horse-riding instructor in Hyde Park!

His riding skills have taken him on many adventures all across the world.

"Over the last five years I have ridden in the desert in Alice Springs during the December heat of mustering season; above the lakes and into the mountains of Kashmir; around Lake Khovsgol in Northern Mongolia; and across the Sierra Morena mountains in Andalucia," Louis said.

"This challenge, however, will be different from all the rest.

"This journey will be undertaken in a climate and at a time that is foreign to all of us, and in a recovering world of uncertainty."

Ruaridh Ormiston, of Ormiston Highlands, a breeder of highland ponies, has kindly lent Irelanda to Louis for the journey, which will start on July 17.

He will ride alongside with a horse and cart in the Highlands so Irelanda can be well cared for, and through the journey, Louis will be supported by a network of friends that will bring him supplies.

"I will try to make it to friends' houses along the way, although I predict I will be doing a lot of camping but that's ok because I've done a lot of it in the past!" Louis added.

"The challenge will be to find somewhere to tie Irelanda to.

"The main aim is to keep her well but that was one of the reasons I picked a Highland pony as they can deal with the rain and storms – they take it in their stride.

"We will be stopping for a couple of days every week or so to give her a rest though.

"I've been visiting her when I can and the team up in the Highlands are doing a good job getting her prepared.

"I don't want to rush it as it certainly will be a special journey for me."

Search 'The Big Hoof' on JustGiving to donate.