A young show rider is preparing to lose her treasured tresses in public this month to support the Little Princess Trust and Children with Cancer UK charities.
Lewes-based Matilda Clutton, seven, contests open show hunter pony classes and is a lead rein finalist at the Royal International Horse Show, Hickstead (26-31 July), with her beloved pony Knivers Keepsake.
She has long blonde hair, but following a conversation with her mother, Laura, about cancer and what a devastating illness it can be, she offered to have it cut in order to raise funds for the cause.
“We decided to grow Matilda’s hair as long as we could and donate it to the Little Princess Trust,” said Laura.
“Children who have lost their hair due to treatment can have the opportunity to wear real hair while their own grows back.
“Matilda has always cherished her hair and loves to play her favourite character Elsa from Frozen – her blonde locks being the focal point for her – so this is not a decision she took lightly!
“I wasn’t actually sure she’d do it, but in the last couple of months she has asked repeatedly if her hair was long enough to cut.
“Now it is, her hairdresser is coming to Hickstead on 30 July to do ‘the chop’ after Matilda has competed on the Wednesday.
“We’ve been asking people to sponsor her, and have so far raised more than £240. There’s still time to pledge, so we’re asking for more support.”
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Matilda has been making headlines in the ring too.
“She was third in her first county open 122cm recently, which was a Horse of the Year Show qualifier,” said Laura. “We are over the moon as it’s a big ‘ask’ for a first year first ridden jockey. She was second in her lead rein qualifier too – only just missing a ticket.”
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