Competitors at Willow Banks EC will be taking on a very special fence when shows resume after the coronavirus pandemic.
The Lincolnshire show centre will introduce an NHS-themed jump, thanks to the creative efforts of young rider Harrison Bellamy.
Owner Piers Warmoth told H&H the centre had conceived the idea of a “design a jump” competition to entertain customers who were bored on lockdown, and to give hope of a return to normality in future.
Once Harrison’s #thankyouNHS fence, complete with clapping hands, was posted online, it was clear there could be no other winner.
“Then a company rang us to say they wanted to stay anonymous but that they’d pay to get it made – so we’ll make that one, which we would have done ourselves if not, and can still do the competition,” Piers said.
“We’ve spoken to a model company too, which makes sets for theatres, and they’re going to make the hands so they’ll be proper ones.”
Piers said he hopes riders would be able to see and use the fence as the situation returns to normal, which he believes will be a gradual process.
Harrison’s proud mother Katie told H&H the 10-year-old’s grandfather works for, and his grandmother volunteers for, the NHS.
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“It means a lot to him, and he wanted to make sure that when everything’s back up and running, the NHS still gets the recognition,” she said.
“He said it would be nice to show we still think about them when it’s all over.”
Harrison has a 128cm pony whom he competes in unaffiliated showjumping, and he had hoped to register with British Showjumping this year.
“He was amazed how many likes he got on his design,” she added. “It’s a lovely thing to have done.”
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