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Carl Hester, Scott Brash and Zara Tindall among host of stars baking, planking and painting for NHS

Carl Hester, Frankie Dettori and Scott Brash are among the equestrian sporting stars who have signed up for a new team fundraising campaign in aid of the NHS.

The organisers behind Bolesworth and Liverpool international horse shows have launched “Equestrian Relief”, with money raised going to NHS Charities Together.

Between Monday 6 April and Monday 13 April, two members of every team (see below) will take part in a challenge each day, with highlights shown across social media at 7pm.

The challenges include: on the gallops, plankety plank, horse drawn, showstopper and dark horse, which aim to “test riders’ skills physically, creatively and artistically”.

“Our priority is to unite the horse world to support our health workers and our goal is to raise a sum of money that will make a real difference,” said Bolesworth managing director, Nina Barbour.

“All donations will go directly to NHS Charities Together Covid-19 Crisis Fund — supporting NHS staff and volunteers on the front line as they work under pressure and in the most challenging of circumstances.

“We’ve already got some fabulous sponsors on board, including long-standing Bolesworth supporters Equerry, Equitop and Horse Scout, who have all made generous contributions to get us started.”

A charity auction will also be launched on 6 April, featuring “money can’t buy” experiences, such as going behind the scenes with ITV Racing, a round of golf with Oli Bell and AP McCoy, plus the paintings produced by the teams in the “horse drawn” challenge.

Zara Tindall said she is looking forward to seeing how much they can raise.

“It’s a very challenging time for the equestrian community, with so many people affected in so many ways,” she said.

“Being a high-risk activity, we also have a responsibility to minimise the impact on the NHS who are valiantly working to support the nation and save lives. Taking part in Equestrian Relief and knowing that donations are going directly to help NHS workers on the front line makes it a no-brainer for me.”

Frankie Dettori added he is “super excited” to take part in the plankety plank and the bake-off Easter showstopper challenges.

“It’s going to be great fun, but we are all very competitive so I can’t wait to get started – so please make sure you support us!” he said.

Scott Brash said:“As a strong equestrian community we must stay united in the battle against Covid-19 and we are hopeful Equestrian Relief can make a huge impact in raising funds directly to support those who are putting their own lives at risk to help others.”

To donate, visit: www.equestrianrelief.com

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The full teams are as follows:

#TeamRacing
AP McCoy — Racing legend, champion jump jockey (a record 20 consecutive times) and BBC Sports Personality of the Year 2010
Frankie Dettori – Racing Legend and three-time champion Flat jockey
Mike Bushell — BBC sports presenter and star of Strictly Come Dancing
Oli Bell – ITV Racing presenter

#TeamEventing
Ros Canter — Current World champion
Zara Tindall — Former World and European champion, plus BBC Sports Personality of the Year 2006
Oliver Townend — Current world number one and multiple CCI5* winner
Alex Hua Tian — First rider to represent China in equestrian at the Olympics
Ben Hobday — Current British Open champion

#TeamShowjumpingNorth
William Whitaker — International showjumper and former youth European gold medallist
Geoff Billington — Two-time Olympian (Atlanta 1996 and Sydney 2000)
Ellen Whitaker — European bronze medallist
Harry Charles — International rider on the Global Champions Tour
Anthony Condon — Top Irish international showjumper

#TeamShowjumpingSouth
Scott Brash — Olympic gold medallist
Shane Breen — Leading Irish international showjumper
Daisy Bunn — Director at Hickstead, TV presenter and classical singer
Jessica Mendoza — former European youth gold medallist
Jay Halim — International showjumper

#TeamDressage
Carl Hester — Olympic gold medallist
Richard Davison — Four-time Olympian
Gareth Hughes —World silver medallist
Toni Terry — Dressage rider and wife of Chelsea footballer John Terry
Sarah Higgins — International dressage rider

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