With the Rio 2016 Olympic Games just three years away, riders with their sights set on a place on Team GBR are recharging their horse power — and finding innovative ways to do it.

Friends and supporters of Kent-based eventer Emily Baldwin are holding an art auction to raise funds to buy her a new top horse.

Charlotte Agnewis building up a syndicate scheme, buying and producing horses to fund a ride for the 2016 Games.

Emily told H&H: “Drivetime [on whom she won several CIC3*s] is in the twilight of his career and, while I have a couple of very nice young horses, I don’t have anything in between.

“I live in the south-east, which is quite saturated with event riders and not that many owners, so I have had to think outside the box,” she added.

Artist Ryszard Rybicki became interested in the concept of buying Emily a horse that might take her to Rio and offered to donate a painting she could sell to raise funds.

“Since then it has spiralled into something bigger,” said Emily.

Almost 50 artists have now donated works. James Braxton, the star of Bargain Hunt and Flog It!, will conduct the auction at Mary Ward House in Bloomsbury, London, on 12 September.

Oxfordshire-based Charlotte Agnew, who is on the World Class development programme, is exploring a different avenue to secure a potential Rio ride. She has set up a government-supported Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS) that involves raising £150,000 — half of which is offset against any investor’s tax bill.

The money will fund White Heather Eventing, which will buy and sell a number of horses over a 4-year period, with the aim of keeping one “particularly special horse” to compete in the Rio Olympics.

For details of the lots in the Emily Baldwin auction, visit www.greenhorseart.com
Contact Charlotte Agnew on agnewc@hotmail.com

This news story was first published in Horse & Hound magazine (5 September, 2013)