New records were set for attendance, auction proceeds, and funding raised to support FEI partner charity, Just World, at an annual gala, held in the Grand Prix Village, next to the Winter Equestrian Festival.
“The fun thing is everyone was happy,” said Laura Kraut, who has been a longstanding ambassador of the Just World charity. “Everyone’s there because they know it’s for a good thing. Even at the end of the circuit, when everyone’s kind of tired – myself included – when we got there all of a sudden you had energy and it was well worth going.”
A highlight of the evening was a live auction in which a dinner with Nick Skelton and Laura Kraut at Maxwell Plum’s in Wellington, proved to be a prized item. “I think we went for ten thousand!” said Laura, who added “No, not at all,” when asked if she expected her and Nick to raise that much.
“We will try to arrange the dinner before [the end of WEF] and if not, we will do it next year,” said Laura. “The people who bought us were lovely people.”
Nick got involved with Just World shortly after the London Olympics, donating his Olympic helmet, signed, to the auction. The dinner with the star showjumpers was designed to appeal to riders and non-riders alike.
“I’ve done it before and people like my stories about what I’ve done over the years,” said Nick. “It’s good fun and it’s for a great cause.”
Just World’s founder Jessica Newman was herself a grand prix showjumper before she hung up her spurs to help children in need worldwide. “Providing vulnerable children with the opportunity to build bright futures for themselves and their communities through education has engaged the equestrian community for many years now,” said Jessica. “Thanks to equestrians, Just World will directly help nearly 10,000 children this year alone.”
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