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‘Buddy up’ show aims to help beat the bullies

A show centre determined to take a stand against bullying is running an arena eventing and showjumping show to raise awareness of the issue.

The “Buddy Up” competition, at Brendon Stud, Pyecombe, West Sussex, on 1 December, will raise money for charity Bullying UK.

Its equally important aim, said organisers, is to raise awareness of and combat bullying. The schedule includes a number of pairs classes, for which riders can enter as individuals as well as in pairs, and each class has a name.

These include the “buddy up” and the “make a new friend” pairs classes, as well as a “do it together” ride and run showjumping competition.

Brendon Stud’s Caz Light told H&H the names were thought up by Pony Club members, who had taken part in a recent arena eventing competition at the stud.

“I was doing the schedule and I asked the kids — as they use such different terminology to adults! — for some phrases that summed up the aims of the show.

“So it was the kids themselves who came up with these names, which is really nice.”

One class is the “Blow for Bradley” pairs, named after the campaign in support of teenager Bradley John, who took his own life after he was bullied at school.

“I messaged Bradley’s father about the show and to ask if we could use his name, and he said that would be lovely,” Caz said.

“Then some of the kids who were here last week for our Children in Need show asked about the pairs, and could they enter as individuals, and others said they’d enter, and if other people didn’t have partners, they’d be there for them, which was really nice.

“That’s what the day’s about; thinking of other people and getting together.”

Competitors will be encouraged to wear blue or yellow to support the anti-bullying cause, while £1 from every entry will go to Bullying UK.

Special rosettes have also been made to spread the word.

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“We’ve done the Children in Need show for a few years now and it’s really taken off,” Caz’s sister Shirley Light added. “This show was an idea of Mum’s [Valerie Light], but it was the blow for Bradley campaign that really hit home.

“This is about raising money, but also awareness, as this does go on.”

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