Top showjumpers at the Winter Equestrian Festival auction lessons to aid Ukraine

  • Leading riders such as McLain Ward, Cian O’Connor, Darragh Kenny and more competing at the Winter Equestrian Festival [WEF] are among many showjumpers who have offered lessons to be auctioned off in support of Ukraine. The online auction began today and bids are mounting for the chance to experience what it is like to be trained by the world’s best.

    Belgian Equbreeding.auction team and Sébastien Boulanger orchestrated the event and are running it from their platform, waving auction fees. Registration for the auction is also free.

    “Although the war in Ukraine might seem far for all of us, it affects every one of us,” said Bram Van Hulle, marketing manager for the auction. “On a global scale we want to show the equestrian community is a great family that takes high value in taking our social responsibility.”

    A total of 43 items will be auctioned. Aside from WEF riders there is a chance to learn from Dutch female showjumper, Sanne Thijssen, or Belgium’s number one Jérome Guery, as well as Britain’s John Whitaker. In addition, Belgium’s Gregory Wathelet’s Olympic saddle pad is up for grabs as well as a St Tropez Pirates polo shirt signed by Daniel Deusser.

    A lesson with US rider and WEF competitor, Jessica Springsteen, gained traction early and as of the time of writing, the bid is €315 – all items start at €50.

    Breeding is also included in the auction with a straw of Quel Homme de Hus also piquing interest in the opening stages of the event.

    Earlier this season German dressage rider Frederic Wandres, sported a Ukrainian flag on the back of his jacket and donated his winnings at the Adequan Global Dressage Festival to support Ukraine, with the hope that others would follow suit. “I had hoped they would after the Derby,” he said. “Maybe others have, but I don’t know about them.”

    The auction closes on 31 March 1.30pm EST and can be found online at https://equbreeding.auction/auction/

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