‘Dance down the centre line for Adele’: friends and family of rider lost to cancer continue her dream

  • THE friends and family of a rider who spent the days before her death aged 49 setting up a charity to benefit other people are spreading “sparkles and unicorns” as they continue her work.

    Despite her terminal cancer diagnosis, Adele Edwards was fundraising until her death in January 2020, for her charity Adele’s Princess Wish. The dressage rider, who had competed at a jumping show less than a fortnight before she died, had told H&H she was glad to know her legacy would live on in the charity, set up to help a friend’s daughter with a brain tumour and extended to support children with cancer and their families.

    Tracey and Eleanor Broughton, who run Foster Equestrian, saw an H&H article about Adele in 2019 and sent her a saddlecloth, which led to a friendship, and the Broughtons’ supporting the charity.

    Tracey told H&H this week that huge progress has been made.

    “The charity has really taken off,” she said. “It’s fully registered, with a JustGiving page, and a donation page on my website. Adele’s sister Leanne Jackson is organising shows at her equestrian centre, and we’ve got the unicorns for sale on our website now.”

    Leanne is organising a fun horse and dog show at Brackenspa Stud Farm on 4 July, and a dressage event at Rodbaston College on 1 August.

    The former includes pairs and individual dressage, showing and jumping, while the latter features classes such as Adele’s dizzy dancers and a prosecco challenge, for which the rider must complete the test with a glass of fizz in hand.

    “It’s going to be a lot of fun, and for an amazing cause,” Tracey said.

    She added that it is hoped the unicorns, which Adele planned before her death, approving the design, will become a symbol, as well as a fundraiser for the charity.

    “They’ve got a chain and clip so you can put them on your keys or bag, but also on the D-ring of your saddle,” Tracey said, adding that they are for sale on her website.

    “That’s what we’re encouraging people to do, so they can take it down the centre line with them. Take the unicorn and dance down the centre line with Adele.

    “We’d like them to be the dressage version of Willberry Wonder Pony. Adele was a true dancing queen, a matchy queen and all about unicorns and pink and sparkly so it’s so appropriate.”

    The team plans to approach top riders, to ask if they will take a unicorn into the white boards.

    “We chose the unicorn as they’re associated with magical things, and dreams coming true, and that’s what Adele wanted to do, to help and support a child with cancer,” Tracey said.

    “This means so much to me, as we discussed it with Adele before she died; she was working right until she passed to do as much as she could to get the charity up and running, and she approved this design. To me, the fact she saw it and knew it was happening, is like it’s Adele dancing down the centre line again herself.”

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    Adele’s horse Leah will also compete at the show with Leanne; Adele told H&H it was a “huge comfort” to know Leah would go to Leanne and her other horse Rocky back to his breeder after she had gone.

    Adele said after her diagnosis: “You’ve got two choices; give up or give it all you’ve got, and that’s what I’m doing.”

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