A fundraiser to help a teenage eventer with cancer has exceeded all expectations by raising £14,317 for charity.
Hannah Francis, 17, whose family have a farm in Hemington in Somerset, was diagnosed with a painful cancer of the bone called osteosarcoma in May.
A member of the Wylye Valley branch of the Pony Club, Hannah was competing at British Eventing novice level and had been accepted onto an eventing development pathway.
On 8 August more than 250 riders and farming supporters turned out at the Willberry Barn Bash organised to raise funds for Hannah.
Last week (18 September) after a final count up, the total amount raised was discovered to be nearly £15,000.
“Willberry and I are overwhelmed by the number of people who supported this event and cannot thank them enough for their generosity which raised such an incredible amount,” Hannah told H&H. “We were truly touched by the efforts of everyone involved and I think everyone would agree that it couldn’t have gone any better.”
The event was hosted by Christine York at her riding school at Rectory Farm in Shoscombe, the neighbouring village to Hannah’s home.
The auction had 30 lots generously donated by local businesses.
There were fly fishing lessons, a Mulberry handbag, an iPad Air, pheasant shooting days and holidays in St Ives, Turkey and Tenerife auctioned by Henry Brice.
Organiser Charlotte Campbell said she was “overwhelmed” by the generosity of businesses involved.
“I would like to say a big thank you to everyone who donated, attended, bought raffle tickets and supported the event in some way, which all helped to raise this astonishing amount of money,” she said.
The funds raised will be donated to the Teenage Cancer Trust, Wigs for Kids and help Bristol Children’s hospital buy another radiotherapy machine — charities all chosen by Hannah.
The Teenage Cancer Trust was also among the cancer charities helped by the first fundraiser staged by The Eventing Family at Bicton International Horse trials on 22 August.
The party was the idea of Aaron Millar and raised over £30,000 for cancer charities.
After the success of the event the Eventing Family committee involved are considering becoming a charity to enable them to continue raising money for good causes.