Entries open for the first Hannah Francis one-day event

  • The first Hannah Francis One Day Event in aid of Willberry Wonder Pony is being held at Mendip Plains Equestrian Centre on 16 July.

    Organiser Lesley Stewart who heads a 10-strong committee, said she has been “overwhelmed” by the offers of help from volunteers for the event.

    “Between 70-80 people have been involved in the organisation,” she told H&H.

    “This is a way of us keeping Hannah’s name going and giving something back to the eventing world to thank them for all their support,” she added.

    Inspirational young event rider Hannah died last August, having inspired riders across the country as she suffered from bone cancer.

    There are three classes, at 70, 80 and 90cm, with the cross country across the Eric Winter-designed course.

    Hannah Green, who set up the Mendip Plains Centre three years ago with her parents Duncan and Jane, said it is “a huge privilege” to have been asked to host the debut event.

    A fun ride was held at the centre in April in aid of the Willberry Wonder Pony Charity, which was set up by Hannah before she died last year.

    “Hannah was very local to us, used to school on the course and took part in competitions held here. She was always very supportive of the venue and was a lovely person,” said Miss Green.

    A number of the 100 entries received so far are Wobbleberries, a group of riders who, inspired by Hannah, have pledged to raise funds for the charity by completing their first BE80 competition.

    Riders can enter, before the closing date of 8 July, via Equo, H&H’s online entry system.

    “We want everyone to come along on the day and enjoy themselves riding across the wonderful Mendip hunting country,” said Mrs Stewart, whose daughter grew up with Hannah, competing with her in the Wylye Valley PC and on the eventing circuit.

    Plans for the event were discussed with Hannah before she died and the organisers hope it will become a registered British Eventing competition in future.

    For all the latest news analysis, competition reports, interviews, features and much more, don’t miss Horse & Hound magazine, on sale every Thursday.

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