Monday 22nd of July 2024
Pro Secrets

Claire Lomas

Paralysed Claire Lomas Finishes The London Marathon

 27th January 2015

 

We caught up with Claire following her latest fundraising event, Pogo Pandemonium, where fourteen intrepid equestrians (eventers and jockeys) battled it out on pogo sticks and space hoppers. The event took place on Saturday 24th January at Newbury Racecourse and raised over £7000 for the Nicholls Spinal Injury Foundation to help find a cure for spinal paralysis.

 

How was it ?! 
I was very relieved that no one was injured. It was havoc but really good fun and we had a lot of laughs.  We had 160 people attend and I am so grateful to the wonderful sponsors who helped me get it off the ground as it was very stressful in the run up to it. Dodson & Horrell were the main sponsor and I couldn’t have done it without them.

 

Any tactics for surviving on the pogo stick?
They were a few collisions and Lucy Jackson cheated! She picked up the space hopper and ran! Everyone was falling off loads!  But the final was between Henry Dove, who is a vet and was one of my bridesboys and the jockey Sam Thomas. Sam won!

 

Any more events on the horizon?
We are planning an event in Leicester later in the year so watch this space for news on that soon.

 

It’s not too late to donate to Claire’s fund to raise money for the Nicholls Spinal Injury Foundation. To support Claire text LEGS60 £3 to 70070

 

 

September 10th 2014

Fresh from a busy few weekends at the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials and Blenheim Palace International Horse Trials promoting her brilliant book “Finding my Feet”, Claire Lomas talks to The Gaitpost about the next challenge ahead, which involves bucking broncos and pogo sticks!  NEWS: Claire’s Auction raised a whopping £11,000 !!  

 

Claire’s life turned upside down on 6th May 2007 when she became paralysed from the chest down in a horse riding accident. that happened in a split second.
Claire was a Chiropractor and top level event rider when this freak accident left her unable to do the things she loved. There were plenty of days Claire struggled to even get the motivation to get up but over time she rebuilt her life.

After her accident Claire married Dan, they had a baby girl – Maisie. On top of all this, she found new sports (skiing – where she tried out and was selected for the Team GB Para Ski Development Squad, but had recently  found out she was expecting Maisie and wanted to concentrate on fundraising,  and handcycling), set up a business and went on to fundraise to help get a cure for paralysis.

In 2012 Claire became headline news worldwide. She was the first (and only) paralysed person to walk the London Marathon, she did it in a pioneering robotic suit. It took 17 days and raised £210,000 for Spinal Research.  She was then invited to light the Paralympic cauldron in Trafalgar Square, and won numerous national awards.

Handcycling snowy 5

 

On 13th May 2013 Claire completed her next challenge handcycling 400 miles around parts of England and visiting many schools along the way to do inspirational talks raising another £85,000.  Claire has set a goal of raising £50,000 in 2014. She will do this by organising events, collecting at racecourses, from her book, school visits and an online auction – more about that later.

She supports the Nicholls Spinal Injury Foundation, and believes that before too long there will be a cure for spinal injuries.

 

 

How was Burghley?
Tiring! I had a really good time and was there every day. It is local for me and I loved catching up with lots of friends and meeting loads of people.

 

You did the Celebrity Talk Area with Jonty Evans didn’t you? How was that?
Jonty is brilliant and makes it so easy and I really enjoyed it.  Plus I sold lots of books so I’m really happy.

 

019555_84fb0e2b28b64679ad95a34cf394d281.jpg_srz_275_240_75_22_0.50_1.20_0.00_jpg_srzYou are a phenomenal campaigner for the Nicholls Spinal Injury Foundation, what is your latest project?
So far I have raised £50,000 through school visits, my book and we did Bucking Fun in February at Newbury Race Course but there is still more to come.  It was such a success that we are doing it again in Leicester in November. We have got teams of farriers, vets, hunting folk, eventers and show jumpers. Lucinda Green, Sarah Cohen, Lucy Jackson, Lucy Kemplay, Holly Gillet to name a few are all going up against the bucking bronco! The betting is hilarious and it gets quite raucous!
We are currently organising another event at Newbury in January 2015.  This time it is top jockeys versus top event riders for pogo stick racing !

 

019555_24585938d1574ab5a3000bab61a8d3e4.jpg_srz_158_216_75_22_0.50_1.20_0.00_jpg_srzYour book has taken you around the country. Where next?
I’ll be at Blenheim Horse Trials this Friday and Saturday so be warned as I am asking everyone to sign up for Pogo Pandemonium!
Charlie Unwin, Olympic psychology coach, and I are doing a talk on Saturday about positive thinking & sports psychology. It is at  4pm in the Learning Area at Blenheim.  And on Friday I am giving a talk with a journalist from Horse & Hound also in the Learning Area.

 

Tell us about the Live Auction that is happening now until 30th September 2014.  STOP PRESS: CLAIRE’S AUCTION RAISED A WHOPPING £11,000 !
The online auction is live now and all the money raised will go to the Nicholls Spinal Injury Foundation and your support is greatly appreciated.  There are some amazing lots including lessons with the Pros, clothing, sporting activities, tickets and course walks to Badminton and Burghley 2015 with Lucinda Green and so much more.  It is a great place to do some amazing Christmas shopping! 

 

Following WEG and Burghley more recently, it is clear that the equestrian world are social media addicts!  Have you been converted?
It is a big aspect of my fundraising for increasing awareness of our events and it is brilliant for making everyone aware of what is going on as it happens, especially with something like the online auction. It has had a huge impact on my campaign and it is always lovely getting messages of support from followers.

 

We have been glued to the grit and determination of  the world’s finest equestrians over the past few weeks here at GPHQ, the World Games were totally inspiring and bought back many memories of London 2012, but this week sees the inaugural Invictus Games take part at the Olympic Stadium, which takes ‘inspiring’ to a whole different level.  Are you going to the Games at all?
No I am not going but both the Invictus Games and the Paralympics  are vital in continuing to help see people overcome things and we must not let that slip. I hope the Invictus Games are a huge success and the competitors enjoy every second…they deserve it. 

 

What or who inspires you within the equestrian world?
Lucinda Green. Before my accident she inspired me hugely with her fantastically fun xc clinics, and she still does. She helped me through some very tough times, and I don’t know where she gets her energy from.

 

10599371_10154579918495311_33506818759284061_n-1Do you have a favourite equestrian possession?
My photos mean a lot to me…remembering the lovely horses I rode and the fun I had.

 

 

 

Is there an all time favourite yard or stables that you have been too? And why?
No not really…my own yard had so many special memories… it consisted of three stables and an old shed and is now where my house is!

 

Which country in your opinion does equestrian best? And why?
UK! We are the best!

 

All 3What would you like your legacy to be?
We can’t change the past so think forward. Never give up.

 

 

Do you have an equestrian hero?
Lucinda Green…also William Fox-Pitt and Tina Cook, who have helped me since my accident as well as lots of others

 

 

RatWhat is the quality that you most like in a horse?
I like the horse to enjoy it as much as me.

 

 

If you hadn’t ridden, what do you think you would have been doing?
Not be in a wheelchair! I haven’t got a clue what I would be doing but I would have certainly have found another sport!

 

What is the most valuable piece of advice you have been given? Who gave it to you?
Lucinda Green. Remember why you do it…you do it for fun!

 

019555_ca55303a37f2432f8cd476e038d0e0b8.jpg_srz_292_448_75_22_0.50_1.20_0.00_jpg_srz

 

Tell us something about yourself that only you know?
I have just written a book so a lot of people know quite a lot about me, I don’t think I missed much out and if I have then it is a secret!

 

 

 

 

 

019555_b3315d560bd24325a00dd170190cc78f.jpg_srz_184_135_75_22_0.50_1.20_0.00_jpg_srzWhat would be your message to the equestrian world?
Thanks for all the kind support you have given me… please keep helping raise funds for the wonderful Nicholls Spinal Injury Foundation as they are so close to a cure.

 

Ski
 
What are your top 5 indispensable pieces of kit ?
– My FES (functional electrical stimulation) bike
– My handbike
– My monoski
– My car with hand controls fitted
– My chair (I suppose as I would struggle without it)
– And lastly Fred- the robotic suit

 

Against The Clock… 
Dick Francis or Jilly Cooper?
Jilly Cooper

 

Royal Ascot or Cheltenham Festival?
Cheltenham

 

Badminton or Burghley?
Burghley

 

Sand or Snow?
Snow

 

Tea or G&T?
Tea

 

Bay or grey?
Grey

 

Here is the link to the list of lots for Claire’s auction:

ONLINE AUCTION (NOW ENDED)

 

To buy a copy of Claire’s brilliant book, ‘Finding My Feet’, as described by Sir Richard Branson as “the inspirational story of the lady who just won’t give up”  simply click here: FINDING MY FEET

Clare Balding describes Claire as ” …a force of nature. Give her a challenge that seems impossible and she will smash it to bits. She knows no limits, sets no boundaries and never takes ‘no’ for an answer.”

 

Please support Claire with her fundraising and help find a cure for spinal injury.
 

To read more about Claire’s Challenge, go to

www.claireschallenge.co.uk and keep up to date with her news on Twitter @claire80lomas

 

We hope you enjoyed our interview with Claire.  Keep up to date with future Pro Secrets guests by hearing about them first – simply LIKE our Facebook page and follow The Gaitpost on Twitter. Just click the social media buttons on the left hand side of this page (you may need to scroll up a bit).

If you are new to TheGaitpost.com, hello and welcome ! We have plenty more interviews for you to read as well as reviews, guest blogs and The Daily Bale newspaper for all your equestrian news.

Enjoy!

 

READ MORE :

William Fox-Pitt Ben Hobday Carl Hester Sophie Christiansen
William Funnell Sophie Beaty Emily King George Meyrick
Blog: Britain’s Got Talland Blog: Sound Advice Blog: Flick Roberts The Daily Bale

 

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