Wobbleberry army set to raise thousands for Willberry Wonder Pony

  • More than 1,000 riders have shown interest in taking up eventing in the name of charity.

    The Wobbleberries challenge is aimed at nervous or novice riders and was launched in August by Sally Barr.

    Initially a personal challenge for Sally, the initiative has attracted a great deal of interest among other riders who also want to take part.

    The Wobbleberries will raise funds for Willberry Wonder Pony — the charity founded by the late Hannah Francis — while gearing up to compete at a BE80 in the autumn of 2017.

    So far, 1,200 riders have put themselves forward for the challenge and many trainers have offered to teach riders involved in the scheme, including top Australian event rider Andrew Hoy.

    Companies have also offered sponsorship and money off for riders taking part.

    “With so many people taking part, we could make a real difference,” Sally told H&H.

    “If everyone is able to raise as much as they plan, we could make as much as a quarter of a million pounds for the charity.

    “I only started it in August, I just put out a post on my own Facebook and it’s snowballed.

    “The charity are behind it and they have been very supportive.”

    Sally said that a huge variety of riders have signed up, from a couple with a combined age of 126 to someone who is learning to ride.

    “It’s a mix of people stealing their teenage daughter’s Pony Club horse or others who are out shopping for a horse. Most are doing it on their own horses though,” said Sally.

    “Safety is important, so we’re hopeful that most riders will reach the goal, but if it takes some longer it’s still positive if they are helping to raise funds.”

    Riders taking part have been sent out starter packs after donating £20 to sign up, which include contact details of their local Wobbleberry representatives, invitations to private Facebook groups for training information and car stickers and discounts.

    The riders will continue to raise funds throughout their learning process, be it through donating the money they would have spent on training or through donations from friends and family members.

    Willberry Wonder Pony

    Young event rider Hannah passed away on 1 August, 15 months after being diagnosed with bone cancer.

    Since her osteosarcoma diagnosis on 1 May last year, the 18-year-old wrote a blog of her experiences from the point of view of her cuddly toy, Willberry. She also raised significant funds for various charities.

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    In May, Hannah announced that Hannah’s Willberry Wonder Pony had been approved as a registered charity.

    All funds raised will go towards bone cancer research and granting horsey wishes to those with serious illnesses.

    To find out about the Wobbleberry scheme click here

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