Jonty Evans has now raised over £100,000 through his crowd-funding campaign aimed at securing him the ride on Cooley Rorkes Drift (“Art”), the horse he rode on the Irish team at the Rio Olympics.
H&H broke the news last Wednesday evening that interest from buyers, particularly in America, had led to Cooley Rorkes Drift’s current owner Fiona Elliott considering selling the 11-year-old.
Jonty has secured some funding towards the horse’s purchase so he can keep the ride and decided to start a crowd-funding campaign to attempt to make up the shortfall. He is aiming to raise £550,000.
The total donated through the website jontyandart.com went over £100,000 this morning.
“I’m at Dauntsey today and people are so kind and so supportive,” Jonty told H&H today. “The word is definitely spreading. I’ve got an interview in the US tomorrow with Glenn Herbert [of the Horse Radio Network] thanks to John Kyle [Irish commentator who is working at a horse trials in Montana this week] and people really seem to be taking it to their hearts.
“My aim would be to make him the people’s horse and then win something big — and then we will have a massive party to celebrate!”
Jonty and Art have also been on BBC local news this week.
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Travel company Zara’s Planet Ireland are supporting the cause, having been persuaded by their sponsored rider Elizabeth Hayden, a young rider and junior medallist for Ireland in eventing. The company has pledged to give Jonty €50 for every booking deposit that comes in through their Irish business in Dublin for the remainder of July and August, excluding short weekend breaks.
Jonty and Art have already been selected for Ireland’s European Championship squad, but Art will not be able to go if the ownership situation is not sorted out before the event, which runs 17-20 August.
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