‘She was a magical person’: showjumper organises Hannah Francis memorial event

  • A trainer who considers herself “lucky to have known” Hannah Francis is organising a show in the teenager’s memory.

    Bina Ford is encouraging showjumpers to go to West Wilts EC, Wiltshire, on 7 October, to “celebrate Hannah’s life”.

    Bina, who jumped on British veteran teams and owns showjumpers, is also inviting celebrity guests to the show, which features classes from 80cm to a 1.30m with £500 first prize.

    “Hannah was a magical person,” she told H&H.

    “Come and jump, for decent money, but never forget what she did – and is still doing, through her charity.”

    Bina met Hannah (pictured) last October, 10 months before the young event rider died at the age of 18 from cancer.

    Money raised at the Hannah Francis Memorial Show will go to Hannah’s Willberry Wonder Pony charity, which funds research into bone cancer, and grants horsey wishes to those with serious illnesses.

    “I’m a pretty tough person – I hadn’t cried for about 13 years,” said Bina. “But for Hannah, I cried and cried and cried. Then I started to plan.

    “I want to celebrate her life. Short as it was, she was unbelievable. She was completely selfless; everything you read about her is true.

    “She was my best friend, she was unbelievable and I was lucky to have her in my life.

    “All I’m trying to do with this show is to continue what Hannah started, I’m trying my best to make people aware of who she was and what she did.

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    “She was a breath of fresh air – it’s so, so sad she had such a short life.”

    The show schedule, and secretary’s details for entries in advance, are available here.

    Anyone interested in sponsoring or contributing should call 07770 997270.

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