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Emily King pledged to donate all Langford Take the Biscuit’s future winnings to charity, as her crowdfunding attempt to secure him succeeded.

The eventer launched a bid to keep the ride on “Hobby” last week, asking fans to donate towards the £40,000 she needed to buy him before the end of this month.

Yesterday (28 May) she announced that the target has been met and the six-year-old will stay with her.

Altogether 556 people donated, including “private investors” who today put forward the balance.

“It’s fantastic,” Emily told H&H. “His owner needed to sell him, for several reasons, and top horses are so hard to find; when you’ve had the chance to ride one and know he’s got the potential, the last thing you want is to lose him.

“So we thought crowd-funding would be a good idea and to put it out there, as we thought there would be people who would love to have the connection with a horse but don’t have the fund to own one.

“We thought it was an obvious thing to try but never thought it would raise half as much.

I’m so humbled by all the donations, however small or big; so grateful for everyone’s support.”

Emily said one donor is to take on running the syndicate and, as promised when she launched the campaign, all those who contributed will be invited to watch Hobby compete, to yard visits and on course-walks with her.

“There will be a regular newsletter too – people will get a lot of return for what they’ve put in, and everything that was proposed will happen,” she added.

Some response to Emily’s campaign was not supportive, with some on social media criticising the rider for asking for donations.

“When anyone tries to crowdfund, there are people who have their opinions,” she said. “I was very clear, that no one had to be involved whatsoever, but if they were interested, the opportunity was there.

“I think some people thought we were keeping the money too, but that was the price the owner was selling him for, and obviously the money goes to her.”

Emily explained that her decision to donate Hobby’s winnings to charities, including World Horse Welfare of which she is a patron, was “the least we could do”.

“And it’s an extra bonus; an even bigger incentive to do well,” she added.

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Hobby will now have a quieter time while Emily takes more advanced horses to Tattersalls and Bramham horse trials, then will compete through the summer. The aim is to enter a CCI1*, possibly the six-year-olds’ championship at Osberton, or Le Lion d’Angers.

“I would like to say a huge thank you to all the 556 people,” she said.

“You’re a true credit and testimony to our amazing sport. You are the ones who keep our sport alive with so much enthusiasm. You drive us riders to work and train as hard as possible, to win medals and make our country proud. Without you, we are nothing.”

For all the latest news analysis, competition reports, interviews, features and much more, don’t miss Horse & Hound magazine, on sale every Thursday.

In this week’s edition, out on 24 May, don’t miss our “cob special”, including how to find the perfect cob, meet champion cob Our Cashel Blue and more.