Bevy of five-star event riders among equestrians taking on London Marathon

  • Riders are gearing up in preparation to run the 26.2 miles of the TCS London Marathon for charities next Sunday (23 April).

    Elite amateur five-star event rider Max Gordon is balancing his marathon training with the eventing season and his job as a barrister. He will be hitting the capital’s streets for charity Children With Cancer UK.

    He joins other five-star event riders, including Kirsty Short (pictured, top), who has had nine five-star starts with her now retired great campaigner Cossan Lad, and Xanthe Goldsack in raising money for the same charity. Kirsty, also a keen boxer, is drawn in wave one.

    Other five-star names on the start list include Sam Ecroyd and Emily King as well as their head girl, Sarah Morrilly. Emily is prepared for all ground conditions, having done training runs in wellies while at Thoresby, although there is little chance of the recent heavy rain changing the going stick. All three are raising money for the Brain & Spine Foundation, which supports people affected by neurological problems.

    Five-star rider Ailsa Wates is also gearing up to run the 26.2 miles for World Horse Welfare.

    Will Bishop, who has had a belting season in the hunt ride calendar, is swapping hedges for trainers as he runs for the Teenage Cancer Trust.

    Equestrian charities also have a strong hand of runners. These include Marianne Davies, running for global working animal charity SPANA, of which she is a trustee.

    “Having visited many of the countries where SPANA works, I have seen first-hand the essential role played by working animals in vulnerable communities, helping families to earn a small income and survive,” said Marianne.

    “Working animals often live short, painful lives in terrible conditions, with no available veterinary care when they are sick or injured. This is why SPANA’s work is so vital – improving the welfare of working animals across the world, so they can live healthy and valued lives.”

    Sylv Hull and Rebecca Walker are among those running for Brooke, another working animal charity.

    After losing her own horse in 2018, Sylv wanted to tie running with her passion for animal welfare.

    “Like most runners, the London Marathon is something special to tick off the bucket list but the knowledge that I’m running for such a worthy cause adds a profound dimension to my training,” said Sylv. “All the early starts and rainy long runs are for something meaningful and the fact that friends and family have sponsored me spurs me on.”

    This year’s event will be Rebecca’s sixth London Marathon.

    I am running for Brooke again because having grown up with horses my whole life, I want to help these beautiful working animals along with donkeys and mules around the world,” she said. “I love raising money knowing it will change their lives for the better.”

    Other runners from the equestrian world include Josh Moore, who recovered from life-threatening illness last year, and his sister, racing broadcaster Hayley Moore, who are running for Cancer Research UK. Photographer Henry Kinchin is running for the Riding for the Disabled Association, Racing Welfare has 12 runners hitting the streets, while amateur event riders Tara Keoshgerian and Lucy Cocker are respectively running for the Starlight Children’s Foundation and Newlife, the Charity for Disabled Children.

    • Are you running the London Marathon for an equestrian cause? Or are you a rider who has swapped your boots for trainers? Email lucy.elder@futurenet.com for inclusion

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