AN ACTOR who raised nearly £40,000 by taking on a charity trek last year is getting back in the saddle again to help Afghan families.

Louis Hall, from Oakley, travelled 1,147 miles from John O'Groats to Land's End in 2020 on a Highland pony in memory of his late friend, Leo Van Heyningen, who died from cystic fibrosis aged just 26.

'The Big Hoof' gained so much popularity across the UK on the 57-day trip that it has now been set up to create rides for charitable causes.

This time he will be riding from Longrock beach, Penzance, to the Duke of York pub in Devon for the 'wee' Big Hoof: 100 miles on horseback to raise £3,000 for the Turquoise Mountain Foundation.

Starting on Monday, Louis is also encouraging other riders to come along on the five-day trek.

"I made so many friends and relationships going down last year that I wanted to do something other people could get involved with too," Louis told the Press.

"I wanted to retrace some of the steps and there were two places in Scotland and Cornwall that I thought that would be good to do.

"As it's October, I thought it might be wiser to go to Cornwall!

"Cornwall Swimming Horses were part of the story for the Big Hoof so they're getting involved again and so far we've got six people coming."

In 2020, Louis was inspired to raise money for cystic fibrosis after seeing his friend suffer from the disease, but this time the money raised will be going to the Turquoise Mountain Foundation, which supports and funds Afghan artisans and their families, with the aim to revive historic areas and traditional crafts, and also provide jobs and skills.

However, they can't even publicise their work now out of fear of the Taliban.

Louis explained: "The foundation is a Scottish charity – they are amazing and what they're doing in Afghanistan at the moment is very important.

"They're helping about 1,500 individuals but they can't can't really put out any details in case the information gets in the wrong hands.

"Although they can't publicise, I can. The work they do is very hands-on so I know the funds will go a long way."

On his travels last year, Louis fell into a sink hole, met author Michael Morpurgo, walked 80 miles on foot when his pony went lame, stayed with a circus, was almost crushed by a falling tree in Storm Francis, and was charged by a cow in Cumbria!

But even with all that excitement, it was the generosity of strangers that made the most impact on Louis.

"Hopefully, I'll see some friends I met along the way again on the big hoof!" Louis added.

"We were just made a charity this week so going forward we'll be able to get some sponsorship for trips. The plan is to do a couple of 'wee' Big Hoofs every year."

To donate, search for 'The wee Big Hoof' on Crowdfunder or visit