Olympic eventer comes out of retirement to raise thousands for charity

  • Eventing legend Jane Holderness-Roddam came out of retirement yesterday (Tuesday, 18 August) to compete for charity.

    The Olympic gold medallist rode in her first one-day-event for 13 years on former four-star eventer Tiger’s Eye II at British Eventing’s (BE) West Wilts fixture.

    The pair jumped double clear in the BE100open, adding 12.8 cross-country time faults to their leading dressage score of 23.8.

    Credit: Fiona Scott-Maxwell

    Credit: Fiona Scott-Maxwell

    They finished in 17th place.

    “It was great,” Jane told H&H. “Bill just loved it – he thought he was at Badminton.

    “It was such a lovely atmosphere.”

    Last year, she travelled to Senegal with the Brooke to see the work the charity does first-hand.

    She said it was amazing what difference small changes, such as providing fly-fringes and making sure tack and bits were correctly fitted, made to the lives of the horses.

    “This money will make a big difference,” she said. “A little goes a very long way out there.”

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    Jane was competing in aid of equine charities the Brooke and World Horse Welfare.

    The total raised on her Virgin money giving page has passed £7,700.

    “Horses have been a part of my life since childhood,” she said.

    “I can’t think of a better way to give something back to these wonderful animals than by supporting two charities that I am so proud to be involved with.”

    Jane is a trustee for the Brooke and was a trustee for World Horse Welfare for many years.

    Credit: Fiona Scott-Maxwell

    Credit: Fiona Scott-Maxwell

    World Horse Welfare’s Tony Tyler said: “Jane is already renowned for her many extraordinary contributions to the horse world.

    “But yesterday she exceeded herself to demonstrate her support for improving horse welfare in the UK and globally.”

    Jane won Badminton twice, in 1968 and 1978, and Burghley in 1976.

    She was the first woman to represent Great Britain in eventing at Olympic level and won team gold in Mexico in 1968.

    Tiger’s Eye II, known as Bill, is a 20-year-old gelding who has competed at 30 international events, including four CCI4*s.

    Goldeneye Video and Photography recorded Jane taking part in all three phases (below).

    “We cheered on Jane and her veteran horse Tiger’s Eye II throughout their impressive performance which showed that they both still have what it takes to take on the competition,” Mr Tyler added.

    “We are immensely grateful to Jane and Bill for taking on this challenge for World Horse Welfare and the Brooke, and to all who so generously donated in support.”

    Petra Ingram, chief executive of the Brooke, said the money raised will mean they can help even more working horses, donkeys and mules as well as benefiting the lives of those who depend on them.

    “I was honoured to watch Jane participate in this event, she is a truly inspirational lady,” she said.

    “Together with Bill they made it look easy and her love for horses was so evident as she guided him through each phase.”

    The event was also the 50th BE fixture held by Pete Collins and his team at the equestrian centre near Holt in Wiltshire since it began in 1997.

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