Wobbleberry for Willberry: an eventing challenge for ‘middle-aged, wimpy riders’

  • A “Wobbleberry” challenge aimed at raising money for Willberry Wonder Pony has gathered support from riders inspired by Hannah Francis to try eventing.

    Described as “a challenge for middle-aged, wimpy riders” the aim is for participants new to eventing to compete at a BE80 in the autumn of 2017.

    The idea is the brainchild of Sally Barr, who thought up the idea as a challenge that she would give herself to raise money for the charity. However the idea took off and now hundreds of riders have got behind it.

    “It was just going to be a personal challenge,” she told H&H, adding she has been “overwhelmed” by the response.

    Now has about 1,000 followers on Facebook and 250 people have so far shown an interest in taking part.

    “The more people we get involved, the more money we can raise,” she added.

    Ms Barr has given the Wobbleberries an overall target of £50,000.

    The challenge has taken off as funds raised for Willberry Wonder Pony hit the £200,000 mark.

    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.

    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.

    A message shared on Willberry Wonder Pony’s Facebook page this week shared the charity’s latest fundraising news.

    “It’s been a really difficult few weeks, but Hannah’s friends and supporters have reacted with amazing generosity and spirit.

    “On 1 August more than 3,000 people and groups donated more than £25,000 on Just Giving. This support is incredible and will go a very long way towards getting started with our support for research in to bone cancer and granting Willberry’s Wishes.

    “This means that the charity now has around £200,000 in the bank for its brilliant causes — thank you to every single one of you who has donated and raised funds.”

    Hannah’s Willberry Wonder Pony is also Event Rider Masters’ charity for 2016.

    “This is brilliant news and we are really grateful to them,” said the charity spokesman.

    “It will mean that the charity gets coverage on their live-streaming of major events, as well as entry and bucket donations from Gatcombe, Blenheim and Blair Castle.”

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    The spokesman also thanked Christa Dillon of Blackhill Eventing in Ireland, who has raised around £8,000 through a clinic and auction.

    The charity has also launched a Friends of Willberry scheme so supporters can donate regularly to the cause.

    For more information click here

    To find out about the Wobbleberry scheme click here

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