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Teenager hunts bareback for a full day in support of friend diagnosed with cancer

A teenager who wanted to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support after a schoolfriend was diagnosed with the disease took on a full day’s hunting without a saddle.

Hattie Cobden, 13, came up with the idea in support of her friend, who is undergoing a three-month chemotherapy programme, and whose family is to be supported by the charity.

Hattie’s mother Victoria told H&H the teenager does ride bareback at home sometimes – “but usually because she can’t be bothered to get her saddle out of the tack room!”

Hattie went out on her pony Snowy, with her father, Hursley Hambledon joint-master Simon, on 14 March.

“To him, I think it was more of an amazing thing to do; to her it was just ‘I’ll try to do this’,” Victoria said. “I don’t think she really appreciated how much difference it would make, but she did the whole day.”

Victoria said Hattie took on all the obstacles, including a large fallen tree estimated to be 1.10m high.

“Someone told her it was far too big to jump bareback, so of course she did!” Victoria said. “We were expecting her to be really sore the next day but she just said ‘no, why?’ and then rode in a pony race.”

Victoria said Hattie, whose original target was £400, has so far raised over £2,000, on her fundraising page and elsewhere.

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“When she got to £950, she had an email from Macmillan to say that would pay for a support worker for two weeks, so she’s done enough for a month – that really hit home,” she said.

“She’s so pleased and I think it’s pretty amazing. We’ve had donations from people who don’t even know her but it’s a charity that means a lot to so many people.”

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