Burghley’s 2024 charity, Fortnum & Mason picnics at Blenheim, plus more partnership news

  • Defender Burghley Horse Trials has revealed its charity partner for 2024 as the My Name’5 Doddie Foundation.

    The charity was launched by the late Scotland rugby player Doddie Weir, to fight motor neurone disease. Doddie made 61 international appearances for Scotland on the rugby pitch, and was a keen rider in his youth, eventing on the Scottish circuit. He remained interested in horses throughout his life.

    The charity’s plans for Burghley (5–8 September), include a tug of war involving rugby players and event riders.

    “Our founder, Doddie Weir, loved his horses and riding was one of his favourite pastimes – although at 6ft 6in, it had to be a big enough horse!” said Paul Thompson, the charity’s director of fundraising and communications.

    “This partnership is therefore especially meaningful to both the Weir family and My Name’5 Doddie Foundation and we’re excited for it to get under way.”

    He added: “To be associated with such a prestigious event means a great deal to My Name’5 Doddie Foundation and this will make an important impact on our ability to invest in vital motor neurone disease research.”

    Doddie Weir.

    In an interview with the Scottish Field in 2017, Doddie said: “I’d say most of my rugby skills came from my time with the horses: I had a decent core which allowed me to get plenty of height in the air and manoeuvre during line-outs, and the ability to see ahead when correcting a stride or making a turn mid-air transferred to line-outs too. he explained. “But the bigger picture was learning line-out calls and when you’re used to learning showjumping courses and dressage tests, this was a big influence.”

    Burghley event director, Martyn Johnson said the partnership “is fantastic news”.

    “We hope to help this very worthy charity, which funds, guides and enables the best research to find a cure for motor neurone disease, to raise both awareness and funds,” he said.

    “The celebrity tug of war, ‘Pulling Together For MND’, should be great fun for our weekend spectators and be a real spectacle ahead of the main event cross-country on Saturday morning.”

    People will have the option to add a small donation to My Name’5 Doddie Foundation when buying tickets for this year’s event.

    Badminton Horse Trials partners with LeMieux for official collection

    Mars Badminton Horse Trials has welcomed equestrian clothing and products brand LeMieux as its official equestrian partner.

    LeMieux is producing an official Badminton collection, in the blue and gold colours associated with the event, which will include saddle pads, fly hoods, grooming kits, headcollars, lead ropes, base layers, socks and hat silks.

    Badminton director Jane Tuckwell said that the five-star is excited to be working with LeMieux on the new range, which “will further broaden our range of merchandise.

    LeMieux managing director Dan Mahoney added: “LeMieux’s collaboration with Badminton further solidifies our commitment to providing exceptional equestrian products.

    “This partnership not only celebrates the heritage of Badminton but also showcases LeMieux’s dedication to quality and innovation in the equestrian industry.”

    Blenheim partners with Fortnum & Mason

    Fortnum & Mason will be providing picnic hampers for the first time at this year’s Blenheim Palace International Horse Trials (19 to 22 September).

    Picnics for two will be available to pre-order via the Blenheim box office and can be collected from Fortnum’s Giant Hamper, in the palace grounds.

    Harri Le Seelleur French, senior events partnerships manager at Fortnum & Mason said: “Offering our picnic hampers at the horse trials is an exciting opportunity for us. Our penchant for picnics began in the 18th century when the then fledgling company began to supply hunters and travellers with baskets of provisions for their journeys.

    “Fortnum’s encourages joyful living, and what could be more joyous than soaking up the action at Blenheim, feasting on a picnic prepared by Fortnum & Mason?”

    Event Organiser Katrina Midgley added: “We are delighted that our visitors will get to relish these luxury hampers whilst enjoying everything going on at the horse trials.

    “The wonderful fresh ingredients that make up the hamper menus sound fantastic and offer an indulgent experience to those who purchase the hampers.”

    New Hickstead sponsor for 2024

    The All England Jumping Course has welcomed Equine Giveaways as a new sponsor at Hickstead.

    The online equestrian competition website will sponsor the Equine Giveaways Royal International Stakes at the Agria Royal International Horse Show (23 to 28 July).

    “For many years now, Hickstead has been one of our favourite venues to visit, so we are absolutely delighted to be able to become a sponsor at the Agria Royal International Horse Show,” said Krystina Tissot, co-founder and co-director of Equine Giveaways. “Teaming up with such a prestigious venue is a very proud moment for ourselves, our fantastic equestrian community and Equine Giveaways as a whole.”

    The two companies have also teamed up with Ariat, for a “Hickstead experience” competition.

    “We are honoured that a new, forward-thinking company such as Equine Giveaways has chosen to work with us at Hickstead,” said Simon Gaskin, sponsorship and marketing manager for the All England Jumping Course.

    “We are very much looking forward to the Equine Giveaways Royal International Stakes, and welcoming the prizewinner of this once-in-a-lifetime competition, which I’m sure will attract lots of interest from equestrians.”

    Discover Newmarket signs deal with National Horseracing Museum

    Discover Newmarket, the town’s official tourism service, has entered a new partnership with the National Horseracing Museum.

    Discover Newmarket will manage visitor services on behalf of the museum, looking after all its commercial aspects including day-to-day management.

    Noel Byrne, chief executive of Bedford Lodge Hotel and chair of Discover Newmarket, said: “We have always had an excellent working relationship with the museum and this new agreement builds on the support that we have been providing for the last year.

    “Our extended partnership ensures that we work even closer together to attract visitors to our internationally recognised town.

    “This is an important development for Discover Newmarket as an organisation, which has gone from strength to strength since it started trading in 2015. Without a doubt, this is an exciting venture for both us and the Museum, which will bring huge benefits to the local economy, making Newmarket a better place to live, visit and work.”

    Plans for revised membership offers, plus a series of events, new exhibitions and an enhanced visitor experience are already under way.

    The Hon Frances Stanley DL, executive chairman of the National Horseracing Museum, added: “As an existing stakeholder of Discover Newmarket, we are delighted that the museum has been able to strengthen its relationship and bring on board additional expertise to assist with our ambitious plans for the museum.

    “The museum plays an important role in the town’s tourism offer as well as supporting the horseracing industry nationally, and therefore our new union with Discover Newmarket is an obvious fit to ensure continued success.”

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