Burghley star’s rocking horse to help grant Willberry wishes

  • A touching tribute to a Burghley star has been unveiled at the event.

    A beautiful rocking horse of the late popular eventer Bluestone Luke, who had competed at the CCI4* five times with owner Kerry Varley, is on display at the Stevenson Brothers’ stand.

    The rocking horse is sporting a specially-made Willberry Wonder Pony saddlecloth and is being “ridden” by Whoaberry.

    A collection is being taken on the stand for the Willberry Wonder Pony charity.

    The charity was founded by Hannah Francis, who died from cancer in August 2016, and grants horsey wishes for young people with serious illnesses and also funds research into bone cancer.

    “My dream was always for [my daughter] Poppy to grow up with Lukey as her best friend like he was mine,” Kerry wrote on Facebook, adding she had also dreamed of riding him down the aisle.

    “But again this was not to be [as] just six weeks before Pops was born, he passed away suddenly one night in his field leaving a huge hole in all of our hearts and lives.”

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    She added unveiling of his rocking horse at the horse trials means her dream of Poppy being able to ride him “will come true”.

    “So many people have made this tribute possible and the biggest thanks has to go to my mum,” said Kerry.

    “We are also raising money for Hannah’s Willberry Wonder Pony charity as Lukey had his own berry pony ‘Whoaberry’.

    “I’ve been granted my wish by the people around me so let’s help a seriously sick person get theirs.”

    Kerry, who is based minutes from Burghley in nearby Ryhall, contested seven four-stars with the 15.2hh gelding and had been aiming for this year’s event.

    Kerry paid tribute to “Lukey” in after his death aged 16 in May.

    “Anyone could ride him — he was like a big dog — he never put his ears back and just wanted cuddles,” she said. “He will be missed by so many people — nobody who met him didn’t like him. But we’ve got lots of pictures and memories of him and he won’t be forgotten.”

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