‘Thank you for backing the Brits’: Lordships Graffalo rocking horse in prize draw to boost Olympic fund

  • A bespoke rocking horse version of the 2023 Badminton and European champion Lordships Graffalo is the top prize in a draw that will boost the British squads in Paris this summer.

    British Equestrian (BEF) and the British Equestrian Federation Fund (BEFF) have launched their “path to Paris” prize draw, all funds raised from which will support our horses and riders on their way to the 2024 Olympics and Paralympics.

    The Stevenson Brothers rocking horse version of “Walter”, worth over £12,500, is made from oak, including some of the fallen tree that was used to make the new Mars Badminton Horse Trials trophy. It features one of Walter’s shoes and some of his tail hair, as well as replica tack, a 75th anniversary Badminton saddlecloth and a BEF travel rug.

    Marc Stevenson of Stevenson Brothers, which has made replicas of Valegro and The late Queen’s showing star Barbers Shop, told H&H he suggested the idea to Badminton director Jane Tuckwell last year. It took three months to build the replica of Walter, who won Badminton and team and individual European gold with Ros Canter last year.

    “It is hard to let them go, but we’ve had lots of practice,” he said, adding that the company has made 9,879 rocking horses in its 42-year history. The replica Walter also “has a secret safe in his tummy, where Ros has hidden a surprise for the winner!”, a BEF spokesman said.

    Other prizes on offer in the draw, donated by BEF team suppliers, are a Fairfax & Favor holdall, a yard tour with Harry Meade plus a £100 voucher, jacket and numnah from Dodson & Horrell, a £500 Bates Saddles voucher and a yard experience with world champion Yas Ingham. Other prizes are to be added, and all entry details are online.

    Enter the draw

    “Every penny made goes towards supporting our teams on the path to glory on the world’s biggest stage, the Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games – entrants will really be part of the Paris journey!” a BEFF spokesman said, adding that the fund is proud to have been chosen as Badminton’s fundraising partner in its 75th anniversary year. Spectators can donate to the fund when booking tickets, by joining course-walks or in buckets or at the BEF tradestand at Badminton, where they can also enter the draw.

    BEF World Class performance director Helen Nicholls said: “The excitement ahead of Paris is really beginning to build and the team is working hard behind the scenes on the final touches to prepare and support our horse and rider combinations to the Games. The added support we get from BEFF, in addition to our UK Sport and National Lottery award, really helps us go the extra mile with those final special preparations that can be the difference between a medal or finishing off the podium.

    “Each and every one of you can be a part of the team’s success – whether it’s buying a draw ticket, joining us on a Badminton course-walk or donating a few pennies, it all helps and we’re extremely grateful to all who support us via BEFF every Games year. We hope that we make you all proud this summer and we thank you for backing the Brits.”

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