Topless eventers help raise money for RDA at Blenheim

  • Spectators at the Fidelity Investments Blenheim Horse Trials (8-11 September) helped to raise more than £10,000 for the Riding for the Disabled Association (RDA).

    Not only did members of the public dip into their pockets, but event riders JP Sheffield and Austin O’Connor donated the £500 they shared in winning the AmTrust Equine High Jump.

    The pair — who both forfeited their shirts after lowering a pole earlier in the class — cleared 1.85m during the official competition however JP Sheffield went on to clear 1.90m, a new record at Blenheim.

    The ever-popular high jump event also featured a high-flying Laura Collett who cleared 1.80m without a saddle. She joked: “I jump better without it.”

    A series of demonstrations put on by the RDA also saw spectators digging deep into their pockets.

    World Class Development Para Dressage Programme members Erin Orford (pictured) and Ruth MacCarthy both rode as did British Para Showjumper Susi Rogers-Hartley and the RDA vaulting teams from Scotland, Clwyd and Shropshire.

    RDA Chief Executive Ed Bracher said: “It was great to have the opportunity to showcase RDA’s work, to inform visitors about the benefits of our activities and of course to raise such a significant amount of money.

    “All funds received will be used to help expand our services, so that we can provide even more opportunities for life-changing therapies to people with disabilities throughout the UK.”

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