British Eventing (BE) is to support those taking part in the Wobbleberries challenge, which has already raised £63,000 for Hannah Francis’s Willberry Wonder Pony charity.
Registration has now closed for the challenge, and almost 1,200 people have signed up to take part in their first BE80(T) event next season.
BE said it is “proud to support the Wobbleberry recruits” by giving all registered riders a free training pass, once they have bought day pass membership.
The charity will also be given free company supporter membership, which means riders can display the Wobbleberry logo on saddlecloths, hats and cross-country colours without an extra fee being incurred.
“We’re incredibly grateful, it’s fantastic to have BE’s support,” said Sally Barr, who came up with the idea of the challenge.
“It started off with just me – I put something on Facebook and thought I was mad but that I wouldn’t wimp out if I’d put it in public. To say I didn’t expect this reaction is an understatement!
“It’s all about raising money for the charity, and Hannah was an inspiration to so many people.
“We’re all learning as we go along so having BE involved will make a huge difference, and probably reassure people that we’re not all barking mad!”
Sally said she thought that for many participants, eventing had been “a daydream you never get round to”.
“But Hannah’s story makes you think life’s too short,” she added.
“I took a tumble at the weekend and before, would probably have thought I’d stick to dressage – now, I think: ‘kick on!’”
BE said the Wobbleberries will be contacted “in due course” with details on obtaining the free training passes.
“Inspired by [Hannah’s] tireless dedication, the founders of the Wobbleberries — Sally Barr, Georgie Horrell, Julia Godbold and Sam Elms — set up the challenge to continue Hannah’s work in her memory after she sadly passed away this August,” said a BE statement.
“It is hoped the initiative will not only raise a lot of money for the charity, but also inspire and encourage more people to face and overcome their own challenges, and for the Wobbleberry community that is getting into the saddle, getting fit and heading out on to a BE80(T) cross-country course.”
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- Hovis’ Friday diary: OMG, we’re joining the Wobbleberries!
- Top riders cross-dressing, carrying watermelons and riding a mule for Willberry Wonder Pony
BE said its charitable foundation “try eventing” days, which offer training and advice on preparing for eventing, will also suit the Wobbleberries, and that its staff are “busy ensuring that there are training sessions throughout the country”.