Anyone who would like to jump from a plane this summer — or sponsor others who do — could help bring home British medals and support equestrians in Ukraine.
The Horse Trials Support Group (HTSG) is organising a skydive on 26 June, in Wiltshire, to raise funds for the British team for the World Eventing Championships in September.
Eventer, commentator and HTSG committee member Spencer Sturmey told H&H the aim had been to do the jump to raise funds for the Tokyo Olympics, but Covid put paid to that plan. Given the situation created by the Russian invasion, the money will be split between the team and the Ukrainian equestrian federation.
Spencer said 10 jumpers have already confirmed, including British Equestrian eventing performance manager Dickie Waygood, and Gemma Tattersall’s mother Marcelle Tattersall, but he joked that trying to find other participants has been “like herding cats”.
Holly Farr of HPower, former Barbury International organiser, is signed up, and although eventer Tina Cook has had to pull out, her young daughter Isabel may step in.
“It’s open to everyone, and by doing it, you’ll support Equestrian Team GBR and Ukraine,” Spencer said.
“This could help win medals. The money the HTSG gives the team goes into the sport; we gave them about £20,000 for Tokyo and they brought back team gold and individual silver, and that’s what we’re trying to do for the World Championships too. We’re the reigning Olympic and European champions and we want to add the world title.”
The jump will be a tandem skydive, so strapped to a professional — “We could say a ‘hunky’ professional if that might attract more people,” Spencer joked — and anyone is welcome to apply.
“I did one in aid of Willberry Wonder Pony and was scared s**tless but I loved it, and if I can do it, anyone can,” Spencer said.
Former world champion eventer Ginny Elliott, who is also part of the HTSG, told H&H: “The more money we can raise, the more we can help Ukraine, as well as our riders.”
Ginny added that it may not be a good idea for her to do the jump herself, owing to the fact she badly broke a leg in a fall some years ago, but “I said I’d never run a marathon and I did, and that wasn’t fun!”
To apply, email firstname.lastname@example.org or contact Spencer via social media.
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