A rider with life-threatening cancer started treatment in Germany yesterday (4 November) following a huge fundraising effort by the showjumping community.
Commentator Matt Millin and his wife Amanda Jane have raised £16,000 in ten days to help area 17 showjumper Kate Anne Douglas.
The 38-year-old, who has a five year-old daughter, was told her breast cancer had returned at a routine check-up on 5 September.
The treatment in Germany was a possibility, but it was to cost about £250,000.
After seeing Ms Douhlas’ Facebook post, the Millins decided to run an auction to help raise funds.
Prizes have included a covering from Arko, HGV training and test, a year’s free entry to various showgrounds and tickets to the Liverpool International Horse Show (31 December – 2 January).
“We can’t believe the support we are getting, it’s unbelievable,” said Amanda Jane.
Among the five lots in this weekend’s auction are a covering from one of Julie Whibley’s stallions, lessons with Phillip Miller and a set of showjumps from Equibox.
“Every day I get messages from people giving new prizes to the auction,” said Amanda Jane.
“It’s really unbelieveable, but Kate is so lovely and it would be so sad if we cannot help her.”
Next Wednesday, fellow area 17 showjumpers are stripping off for a Calendar Girls-style shoot to raise further funds.
The calendar will go on public sale, and one punter has already offered £1,000 for the first copy.
Show centres Northcote Stud and Church Farm Equestrian are also offering free entry for a year for one rider/horse combination as auction prizes.
Others include a ITN news script, donated by British Showjumping ambassador Alastair Stewart, which was bought by a lady whose father had died of cancer and whose favourite programme was the ITN news at ten.
Carl Hester, Tim Stockdale and Clare Lomas have sent signed copies of their books to be auctioned.
“We will keep running while the prizes are coming in,” said Amanda Jane Millin.
- Riders get naked for charity *PICTURES*
- H&H inspiration award for Hannah Francis
- Mother thanks Badminton riders for wearing ribbons in memory of young eventer
So far the Keeping Kate fundraising campaign has raised £111,474, which has enabled her to start her treatment.
For more information, including on how to donate, click here.