Monday 20th of March 2023

Equestrians unite for The Eventing Family fundraiser



community_55b60762e6f1d1437992802295401Social media is a-flutter with all the news and excitement surrounding the fundraising party at Bicton Arena this weekend, but for those unable to join in the fun, The Eventing Family has organised an ONLINE AUCTION, which is now live. And there are some seriously amazing prizes up for grabs.

Started by Dorset based event rider Aaron Miller, The Eventing Family is a committee of friends who came together to support those facing difficult times in the eventing world.

Ben Hobday, Hannah Francis, Jemima Green and Pat West are the inspiration behind the event and the charities chosen to benefit from the money raised include Spinal Research, Cancer Research UK, Teenage Cancer Trust and Motor Neuron Disease Association.

The Gaitpost caught up with committee member Sophie Richardson, who grooms for Helen West, to find out how she got involved and to hear more about the event and silent auction.

“I guess it came down to timing,” said Sophie. “Aaron was keen to do something to support Jemima Green following her devastating injuries in a car crash earlier this year, so Helen West (Bicton Arena Manager) and Beccy Barrett (Bicton Arena Assistant) suggested having it at Bicton International Horse Trials. From this we really wanted to support Pat (Helen’s mother) who is bravely battling Motor Neurone Disease, as this is a cause very close to our hearts. At around the same time, news came in about Ben and Hannah and the idea for a bigger fundraiser came into play. We just wanted to try and help everyone.”

Other people who have freed up time from their day jobs to help include Andrew Fell (TA for British Eventing), Alex and Debbie Jackson, Miranda Collett, and Jemima’s father, James Green who will be taking to the rostrum at Bicton for the live auction (more on that later) as he is a professional auctioneer.

The committee are hoping to sell 250 tickets for the sit down, 2 course buffet and there are also some after dinner tickets available – but hurry as they are selling fast.

harry meade“We are all blown away by how generous everyone has been – not just the riders but sponsors, suppliers and friends from the equestrian world,” said Sophie. “We are over the moon to have such amazing prizes, including fantastic opportunities in the silent auction such as a tour of his yard and lunch for 4 with William Fox-Pitt and Harry Meade has generously offered to cook dinner for 4 at his home.”

Other incredible lots in the silent auction include:

A morning at the gallops with Sam Twiston-Davies

Day at an event with Flora Harris

XC lesson for up to 4 with Sam Griffiths

laura collett1Day behind the scenes at Laura Collett’s yard

2 tickets for Countryside Day at Cheltenham

Stud fee for Fleetwater Opposition

A day with Mary and Emily King at an event or their yard in Devon.

30ft Turn Out Pen

3 day residential camp with Lucy Wiegersma

And something we have got our eyes on…A day’s labour from Sir Mark Todd!

Plus we have donated something too…


yellow 16As sponsors of Aston Le Walls, The Gaitpost has arranged for a day’s coaching at Washrook Farm, The successful bidder will start their day with a morning’s 1:1 coaching session with Nigel Taylor. You and your horse can have a breather before your afternoon session with Jodie Amos. You will also take away some TGP goodies for you and your horse. 



Here is the link to the silent auction:

The party on 22nd August at Bicton is sticking to the eventing theme with a dress code of trot-up attire and ticket prices mirroring the current BE100 entry fee of £70.16 and after-dinner tickets £21.60 (late entry fee).

With Jonty Evans and Spencer Sturmey compering the night as well as the slave auction (Dani Evans, Coral Keen, Craig Barr and Tim Rogers have all generously put themselves up “for sale” for nothing untoward!), as well as live music from Joey the Lips and the main live auction, Bicton is set to rock this weekend! The main auction has 10 lots including:

4 weeks breaking with Padraig McCarthy

A holiday for 8 to Morocco

Lifetime membership for British Eventing

Entry and stabling in 2016 for 1 horse at Ballindenisk

Case of Pol Roger Champagne

If you aren’t going to the event, you can leave bids for any of the lots by registering your contact details on the auction site here and then you need to call Miranda Collett on 07765184725  to tell her your maximum bid.

The ONLINE auction ends on the evening of Sunday 23rd August and if you are unlucky with your bidding, you can still make a donation and help support the charities that are close to Ben, Hannah, Pat and Jemima.


Please give whatever you can and show your support for The Eventing Family.


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