A day’s hunting on Burghley winner Lenamore contributed to the Warwickshire Hunt raising a total of £5,000 for the air ambulance.
American Theresa Sanders secured the top lot with a telephone bid from the USA of £1,100. She flew over at the beginning of December and hunted the 23-year-old grey, who has been a regular with the Warwickshire with owner Lexi Jackson since he retired from eventing.
Theresa said: “I had the most fabulous time out on my fairytale ride with Lenamore. The entire day was magical.
“Immediately upon getting into the saddle, I was able to tell that he’s one in a million. His way of going, collection, breathtaking trot and beautiful gallop clearly showed why he is an adored, true Olympian.
“I feel so very fortunate to have had this experience and will always remember, partly with disbelief that it actually happened. What an amazing day — dreams really do come true! Thank you to Lexi and the Jackson family for making ‘Ed’ available for this amazing experience.”
Theresa decided to bid on the day on Lenamore, who represented New Zealand at both the 2008 and 2012 Olympics under Caroline Powell, winning team bronze at the latter, after recovering from a broken ankle that left her out of the saddle for more than two months.
She said: “While feeling frustrated and miserable that I wasn’t able to ride, I saw the H&H piece about the auction and knew immediately I was going to go for it. I had followed Lenamore’s career over the years and could not believe that I might have the chance to ride this amazing horse. I really needed something to look forward to and thought to myself, ‘I’m going to do this!’”
Theresa describes herself as a “passionate foxhunter” and has been a member of the Shakerag hunt in Georgia, USA.
She stayed with Lexi Jackson and her husband Henry.
Lexi said: “She was charming, and we had a lovely day’s hunting. Theresa rode Ed beautifully and both horse and rider had a great time and even jumped some hedges.”
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Carrie Tucker, chairman of the hunt’s auction of promises committee, and hunt chairman Sam Butler presented the £5,000 cheque to Jo Payne of the Warwickshire Air Ambulance at a meet at Honington Hall.
Jo said: “I am delighted to accept the very generous donation made by Warwickshire Hunt, who have supported the charity since its inception in 2003. The hunt members understand that because we are entirely funded by donations, this essential life-saving service is vital to the rural community.”