‘Slaves’ on offer in auction as eventers raise £25,000 for Australian equestrians 

A celebrity lecture/demo event organised by the Eventing Riders Association of Great Britain (ERA of GB) to support the Australian equestrian community has raised over £10,000 – but there is still time to bid in the accompanying auction.

Top riders including Aussies Chris Burton, Paul Tapner and Sam Griffiths, as well as Tim Price and Piggy French, took part in the event, at the Riding for the Disabled Association (RDA) national training centre on 26 January, Australia Day.

ERA of GB president Bruce Haskell said: “The ERA of GB team has been truly humbled by the level of support we’ve received from riders, brands and individuals, who have all jumped in to help bring this event together in a very short time frame.

“To raise over £10,000 from the event on its own is quite incredible and we owe an awful lot to the Lowlands RDA team for hosting the event, and to Horse & Country for live-streaming the evening performance to a global audience.”

The live-stream of the evening event will be available to watch until 1 February while the auction, which features more than 70 lots, closes tomorrow (Friday) at 11.59pm.

Bidders can choose from items including a personalised H&H cover, a new Bates saddle and Oliver Townend memorabilia comprising signed copies of the H&H front covers on which he featured after he won Burghley and Kentucky and the cross-country hat, with Team GBR hat silk, worn by Oliver for these wins.

Also on offer are private lessons with top riders, course-walks, lunch and VIP event tickets with Lucinda Green, a share in one of Lissa Green’s event horses – and ‘slaves’.

Eventers Alex Whewall and David Britnell have both offered themselves as ‘slaves’ for the day, promising to perform not only riding or teaching but also, if required, personal shopping, hoovering, tack-cleaning and lorry-washing – but not clipping, in David’s case, or coffee-making, in Alex’s.

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“I don’t know what I’ve let myself in for,” Alex told H&H. “[Showjumper] Jay Halim kept bidding, saying I’d need my body protector; I think he was talking about backing his young horses!

“I’m not very good at tea or coffee-making – well, I think I’m quite good but no one else seems to appreciate it – but I’m hoping whoever wins will be nice.

“It’s so terrible what’s happening in Australia and it’s really good to be able to help.”

Bids on the auction currently total some £15,000, with a day left. All money raised from this and last weekend’s event will be split between Blaze Aid, Buy a Bale and Equestrian Fire Relief Australia.

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