‘I had the privilege of meeting Hannah’: legendary eventer becomes Wobbleberries patron

  • Andrew Hoy with Wobbleberry Sam Elms

    Olympic event rider Andrew Hoy has been named patron of the Wobbleberry Challenge.

    The challenge supports Hannah’s Willberry Wonder Pony Charity, which was set up by the late Hannah Francis.

    It is aimed at people aged over 25 who would like to step up to British Eventing and want to be involved in supporting the charity.

    “Andrew was the obvious choice,” said Sam Elms, one of the founders of the challenge.

    “He has been an active supporter of the Wobbleberry Challenge since the very beginning and is one of the nicest, most generous athletes you could ever wish to meet

    “I remember asking on Twitter whether there were any professional eventers who would support the challenge and Andrew replied very quickly saying he wanted to help and he has been true to his word, helping out whenever and wherever he can.”

    In March Andrew hosted a flatwork and jumping clinic for the Wobbleberries and also provided lunch and a tour of his stables.

    By raffling places and rewarding Wobbleberries who raised the most sponsorship, the clinic raised over £10,000 and a date has been set for this to be repeated in 2018.

    “My first contact with Hannah’s Willberry Wonder Pony Charity was at the Tattersalls event in May 2016, when I had the privilege of meeting Hannah,” said Andrew.

    “She gave a very touching speech at an owners’ and riders’ dinner and we all were very emotional about the strength and courage of this wonderful young lady.

    “On that day, I knew I wanted to do something to support the charity.

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    “When I heard the Wobbleberries were looking for support, I felt it was the right time to ‘get active’ and support the charity in memory of Hannah.”

    Wobbleberries co-founder Sally Barr added: “Andrew was the first rider to wear the new ‘Wobbling for Willberry’ armband as he rode around Blenheim carrying his Willberry Wonder Pony ‘Hoyberry’ on his back.

    “He has also very generously agreed to front a series of training videos for Wobbleberries for 2017/18. He was the perfect choice for patron, he takes it very seriously and we can’t thank him enough.”

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