An aspiring Scottish showjumper has received a windfall from the UK’s biggest ever Lottery winners.
EuroMillions winners Chris and Colin Weir, who pocketed £161million in 2011, have supported numerous good causes since their win.
Now they have stepped in to sponsor 14-year-old Robbie Mason, who is based in Ayrshire.
So far their support has led to two new ponies and a horsebox, a payout of around £100,000, said Robbie’s father Robbie snr.
“Their help has made so much difference to us. It’s given Robbie a chance to stay at the top level,” said Mr Mason.
Despite only having ridden for three years, Robbie, who is trained by George Babes in Kilmarnock, has been chosen to ride for Scotland in the 138cm class at the Home Pony Internationals for two years running.
He also qualified to jump at Hickstead this year, but his 28-year-old pony Little Logic went lame just before the competition and is unlikely to jump at that level again.
“Robbie needs to move up to 148cm class this year and I don’t think we would have been able to afford to stay in the game without the Weirs’ help,” said Mr Mason.
Mr Mason put a plea for funding on the UK Sponsorship database and the Weirs, who have links to the area, came across the request.
Robbie now has two 148cm ponies to compete – the novice Mosstown Ralph and JA pony IOP De Concelle – both sourced by Mr Babes for the teenager.
And the new horsebox has been a “Godsend” said Mr Mason, as previously they had a lorry with no living.
“Robbie would sleep on a camp bed in the back of the lorry, such was his desire to compete,” he added.
Colin Weir said: “Robbie is such a young talent and we love his determination and dedication. It is important that he continues to get the support and encouragement he deserves and we are delighted to help out.”
This news story was first published in the current issue of Horse & Hound (6 September 2012)