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Charlotte Dujardin invites you to join her in Rory Gilsenan memorial fundraiser

The equestrian community is being urged to take in a virtual 10-mile fundraising challenge in memory of the late showing producer Rory Gilsenan.

The Lockdown Lollop will take place on Good Friday (2 April) and asks individuals, families or bubbles to cover 10 miles and raise funds for Brain Tumour Research. Rory, who had been diagnosed with a brain tumour in 2018, died on 22 April 2020, aged 50.

Last year stud owner Sharon Mynard, who has launched the Lockdown Lollop, raised more than £10,000 for Brain Tumour Research in memory of her close friend Rory by completing a marathon in her wheelchair in Centre MK, a Milton Keynes shopping centre.

“This year I didn’t feel I could ask people for more money but I still wanted to do something to keep raising money for the charity so I came up with this,” she said.

“We are asking people to travel 10 miles in any form other than a motor vehicle – they can run, ride, row, cycle or however they wish to do it. We’re asking people to raise a minimum of £150 each or within their family groups or bubbles, and it can be done from anywhere in the country,” she said.

Sharon said the funds are vital to the charity, which receives only one percent of the national government spend on cancer research.

“We’ve set the target at £5,000 but we’d really like to raise a lot more. To me this means an awful lot, Rory was such a big character, he would help anybody,” she said.

“Funding for the charity is even worse at the moment because of the pandemic, there aren’t things like the London Marathon and those events that would normally raise lots of money. Brain cancer could happen to any one of us, nobody knows what’s ticking along in there.”

Charlotte Dujardin, a friend of Rory’s, has signed up to take part for the “vital cause”.

“My best friend Ian Cast and I will be taking part to raise funds for Brain Tumour Research, in memory of Rory, and invite you all to join in,” she said.

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“Sharon has known me and my family from a very young age through horses and the showing world and asked if we would take part and of course, we didn’t hesitate.”

Sharon said it was “amazing” to have Charlotte on board and urged others to get involved.

“The more the merrier – anybody can do this. We’re saying 10 miles but people can do longer, go out for a long hack and just enjoy it,” she said.

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