Mud flew left, right and centre to raise funds for South Otago youngsters last weekend.

South Island riders came together to enjoy the annual Lake to the Sea trail ride from Milburn on Saturday.

The trail ride celebrated its 20th event with more than 700 keen riders from as far as Cromwell, Invercargill and Christchurch.

The fundraiser event raises money for the Tokomairiro High School each year.

Event organiser Brian Griffin said the annual ride ‘‘got a fire going’’ in him.

‘‘It really sparks me up,’’ he said.

‘‘There is nothing better than seeing the enjoyment people get out of the ride.’’

‘‘From the people who come back each year to the newcomers, everyone seems to have a great time.’’

‘‘That’s what gets me going.’’

Mr Griffin received a Paul Harris Fellowship award from the Milton Rotary Club for his efforts in hosting the event year after year.

‘‘The money assists the [Tokomairiro] High School so the young local minds have the opportunities to grow.’’

He was grateful to the people who helped to organise the event.

‘‘I always say I’m not going to host another one.

‘‘It never happens.

‘‘Somehow I always come back.

‘‘I’m really appreciative of my partner, who understands how much I love the event.

‘‘I’ll let someone else take over some time.

‘‘Maybe not next year, though.’’

Cromwell father-and-son duo Lance and Quade, 12, De Villiers were doing the trail ride together.

Quade was giving the trail ride a go for the first time.

‘‘I’m a bit nervous but mostly excited.’’

His dad had completed the ride five years in a row.

‘‘I’m pretty chuffed to be introducing him to it.

‘‘It’s a good way to get some bonding in.’’

An official total amount raised from the event was still being confirmed.