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At Punchestown next month, Irish event rider Jonty Evans will perform a dressage test — minus his horse.

Jonty has “volunteered” to perform the CCI*** dressage test at the event (17-21 May) in full riding gear and be marked by the judges to raise money for the Sherelle Duke Fund, a training initiative for junior riders.

Irish rider Sherelle was killed in a fall on the cross-country at Brockenhurst Horse Trials in August 2006.

“I came up with the idea with some friends,” said Jonty, who became firm friends with Sherelle when both were on the Irish squad at the 2003 European Championships in Punchestown.

“I’ve been in the gym during the winter in preparation for Badminton, so the fitness side doesn’t worry me. But we might make the arena smaller, otherwise it may get a bit boring to watch.”

Jonty hopes his antics, which may feature “a few surprises”, will raise at least £1,000. To sponsor him, send a cheque payable to The Sherelle Duke Fund, to Corner House, Normanton, Grantham, Lincs NG32 3BH.

This news report was first published in Horse & Hound (26 April, ’07)