‘NHS thank you’: event celebrates health heroes with new cross-country jump

  • Riders at Richmond Horse Trials (2) on 4 to 6 September were reminded of the service of health workers thanks to a new cross-country jump.

    Abigail Turnbull, who owns the North Yorkshire venue with her husband Andrew, designed the “NHS thank U”, with a horseshoe taking the place of the U, which featured in the BE100 class on Saturday and Sunday.

    She told H&H she had found some of her A level art materials and a sketchbook while clearing out come cupboards during lockdown.“

    I think I’d tidied all the house by then and was bored!” she said.“I found the old pad and charcoals and started doodling ‘NHS, thank you’. We’d been talking about making some new cross-country jumps and I shared some sketches on Facebook, which went down well.

    “I never had the chance to finish one for key workers, which I also wanted to make, but we got the NHS one done, which was great.”

    Abigail said that as she was unable to go out to buy materials to make the jump, she “hunted round the farm and in the workshops” for suitable materials.

    “My husband wouldn’t let me loose with the jigsaw!” she said. “But I drew things and he cut them out and we painted them. A lot of our livery clients are medics and they’ve had their picture taken with it; we’ve used it for arena eventing and the Nexgen young horse event, but it was really nice to see it out on the British Eventing course, as that’s what it was built for.”

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    Abigail said the team was thrilled finally to be able to run the horse trials; last year’s summer event was cancelled owing to a strangles outbreak, and of course this May’s was lost to the coronavirus.

    “The weather wasn’t the kindest at the weekend but we ran and it was fantastic,” she said.“It was nice we didn’t clash with Burghley as we had some big names here, and we had lots of fantastic feedback.

    “The ground was perfect — my husband always says it should be as good for the last rider as for the first — and we worked really hard in between people on Sunday when it was so wet, but it was all worthwhile.

    “After all the blood, sweat and tears, it was great.”

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