The eventing challenge set up for “middle-aged, wimpy” riders inspired by Hannah Francis has raised nearly £250,000 – and is to become an annual event.
As the 2017 season comes to an end, the Wobbleberries have “exceeded all expectations”, with more than 1,200 people signing up.
The challenge – to compete a British Eventing (BE) entry-level event – was set up by Sally Barr and three others in August 2016 to raise money for Hannah’s Willberry Wonder Pony Charity.
“The Wobbleberry challenge was set up because we were so inspired by Hannah’s determination and we wanted to raise money for a fantastic charity,” Sally said.
“People who take part in this personal challenge aim to complete a BE80(T) event, having never completed one previously with their equine partner.
“Typically, people who participated in 2017 had never considered attempting a BE, but were inspired by Hannah to push themselves. This is such a fundamental part of the Wobbleberry challenge, because Hannah herself was so inspired by her riding.
“How fitting indeed that her legacy continues in so many ways, not least in encouraging people into the saddle and proving to themselves that they can achieve something not previously thought possible.”
Owing to the large number of people who wanted to complete the challenge next season, the trustees of the charity, which was set up by young eventer Hannah before her death last year, reconsidered the Wobbleberries’ future.
“The challenge has captured the imagination of the equestrian world,” said a spokesman for Willberry Wonder Pony.
Three riders who took up the Wobbleberries Challenge
We meet eight inspirational Wobbleberries at a training
The challenge has gathered support from riders inspired
“With so many people wanting to sign up for 2017/18 and some wanting to defer their challenge, it has been necessary to consider the future of the challenge going forwards. Following discussions with the trustees, the Wobbleberry challenge will continue to be a fundamental part of the charity’s fundraising activities and has now been established as an annual programme.”
To sign up for the challenge, visit the Wobbleberries website.
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