Four-star rider Alice Dunsdon is urging the equestrian world to #WearGreenForJonty to show their support for the Irish eventer Jonty Evans, who is in a stable but unconscious state after incurring a significant brain injury in a cross-country fall at Tattersalls on Sunday 3 June.
“I got back from Luhmühlen [14-17 June] and heard the update that Jonty was still in same condition,” Alice told H&H. “Everyone felt so powerless and I was wondering what we could do to try to show his family that the whole eventing family are behind him, still thinking of him and still fighting for him.”
Alice was out hacking when she thought of Hannah Francis, the teenage eventer who died of bone cancer in 2016, but whose spirit lives on through the charity Hannah’s Willberry Wonder Pony and the soft toy ponies which eventers carry on their backs when riding across country.
Alice continued: “I wondered if we could wear something and suddenly thought of Jonty’s cross-colours — the famous bright green — and thought maybe we could start wearing green cross-country colours or something green. The fence judges would have nightmares distinguishing riders if we all wore all green, but then I thought we could wear just a little green something, such as green ear covers, gloves or numnahs.
“And I thought if people put photos on social media, that would show the family our support and that we’re all thinking of him.”
Alice contacted the team at website Eventing Worldwide, which is now leading the #WearGreenForJonty campaign. Riders and supporters are urged to wear something green from this Saturday (30 June) and throughout July.
“It would be wonderful if the whole equestrian world — from dressage to eventing, showjumping, endurance, racing and showing, as well as supporters — got behind Jonty and wore green,” said Alice. “I just wanted to show Jonty and his family how much we all care and this is us fighting for him.”
Alice is riding Sambo III on the British team at the Nations Cup in Strzegom, Poland, this weekend and hopes to wear something green with the blessing of team management. She said her fellow squad members Coral Keen, Wills Oakden and James Sommerville are also keen to be involved.
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Eventing Worldwide has launched official #WearGreenForJonty wristbands and T-shirts, with all profit going to Jonty’s family’s chosen charity, the David Foster Injured Riders Fund, which was set up in the name of the Irish Olympian who was killed eventing in 1998.
“It’s very important all the profit goes to the charity chosen by Jonty’s family,” said Alice.