Badminton-bound event horse to run in memory of talented young rider

  • The family of a young rider who died last year have set up a trust in his memory to help others “achieve their Everest”.

    George Crawford (pictured, below), 20, passed away in October after he was hit by a car while walking back to his university halls at Harper Adams.

    The Crawford family has founded the George Crawford Legacy Trust, which is supporting many causes including the Riding for the Disabled Association and the Injured Jockeys Fund.

    George’s father, Cameron Crawford, told H&H they want it to help individuals, as well as recognised charities, with bursaries for those who need help to achieve their passion — whether that is music, sport, art or riding.

    “That is the type of person George was, always helping out,” said Mr Crawford. “We wanted to reflect this and along with supporting recognised charities, we want to help individuals get to their Everest.

    “We want this to be a lasting legacy that will hopefully be there for years to come.”

    The trust has already bought a pony for its local RDA group with the proceeds raised so far.

    Fundraisers planned for this year include a cycle from the family’s farm in the Scottish borders to Harper Adams on 2 to 5 June, plus a gala at the end of the season.

    George’s horse Cryptonite is also on course to make his Badminton debut in May with fellow first-timer Emily Parker and will be running in the livery of the trust, which will be printed on her eye-catching cross-country colours.

    Mr Crawford said they are hoping to bring some other riders on board to help raise the trust’s profile.

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    Bought out of a field in Ireland via Greg Kinsella, the horse was initially evented by Cameron, with the plan that George would take over the reins.

    But after a fall at Belsay in 2015, the ride went to Emily who has taken him up through the levels over the past four years.

    “He is not your classic looking event horse — he makes Ben Hobday’s Harelaw Wizard [a 16.3hh part-bred Clydesdale] look small,” said Cameron.

    “He is a dude, all he wants to do is please you and he doesn’t understand the word ‘no’.”

    Emily and Cryptonite finished second at Ballindenisk CCI3* (now CCI4*-L) in September and are heading to Belton this weekend following a good opening run for the season in the advanced intermediate at Lincoln (15 March).

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