Musketeer Event Management (MEM), organiser of Barefoot Estates Burnham Market and Houghton International Horse Trials, has named the East Anglian Air Ambulance (EAAA) as its official charity for 2017.
With a fund raising goal of £11million this year alone, the challenge is always to create innovative ways of inspiring people to donate – and the EAAA have come up trumps again. Camel racing.
On one day at each event, pre-selected jockeys will take to their camels in a five heat contest between eventing classes, before the heat winners fight it out for the main prize. Anyone able to ride a horse with a certain amount of competence can apply for one of the coveted race places, those selected being asked to raise £500 in sponsorship for the charity. Details of how to register will be published on MEM and EAAA social media channels.
There are also opportunities for businesses to become involved. Camel ‘ownership’ is up for grabs on a race by race basis – a perfect way to promote a local business and entertain its clients and staff!
The scale of the fundraising required by EAAA each year reflects the service it provides. A skilled doctor and a critical care paramedic are on board each flight, along with specialist equipment. On average, each airborne rescue mission costs approximately £3,500, with an average of five missions a day. The Charity recently completed its 20,000 mission since it started flying in 2000.
Patrick Peal, Chief Executive at EAAA, explains: “We are able to provide lifesaving medical support to critically ill patients by flying the hospital A&E to them. We then transport them, within minutes, to the most appropriate hospital for their clinical needs.
“Our patients receive the best possible emergency medical care, which can make the difference between long-term injury and recovery – even between life and death.”
EAAA operates two state of the art helicopters and two rapid response vehicles which serve the people of Norfolk, Suffolk, Cambridgeshire and Bedfordshire, also encompassing residents of Essex and Hertfordshire during the hours of darkness.
Event Director Alec Lochore commented: “All those involved in equestrianism, in any form, recognise the importance of Air Ambulance services across the United Kingdom. Working in a county with so much coast line, always a big draw for residents and holiday makers, our spectators are equally likely to find themselves in EAAA’s debt, making it an ideal charity to team up with.
“We are delighted to be working with EAAA this year, promoting such a worthy cause; one which everyone who lives and works in, or visits, East Anglia could at any time need to call upon.”
Burnham Market International takes place from 13th – 15th April at Sussex Farm, while Houghton International runs from 25th – 28th May in Houghton Hall’s stunning deer park.
For more information on any aspect of this year’s Horse Trials, and to book advance tickets, visit www.musketeer.co.uk