Massive waves have shaken the eventing community this week with the sad news that young eventing idol, Ben Hobday has been diagnosed with cancer.
As soon as the news was released social media was alight with well wishes and messages of support for Ben and Wilberry the Wonder Pony, the faithful sidekick of event rider Hannah Francis, also battling cancer.
‘Myself and Willberry have been totally overwhelmed by the amazing support from not only our eventing family but the entire equine community. It has made such a difference to our battle and made me so much stronger knowing we have this incredible army behind us every step of the way #kickingcancersbutt!’ said Hannah.
The ‘Eventing Family’ has grown in force since the fundraising ball last November, The Eventers Ball. Eventers and their supporters raised over £15,000 for the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit at Southampton General Hospital; a unit that cared for fellow eventer Bruce Haskell’s young son Miles. At the time Bruce used social media to express his thanks and with the events social media team coined the hashtag #eventingfamily
Although the eventing community has always been tight knit, the use of social media has developed as a way of showing support and sharing news more publicly over the past few years. ‘The Eventing Family’ www.facebook.com/eventingfamily?fref=ts is a new Facebook group set up help a collective of riders and supporters who have recently had life changing experiences. Formed by Aaron Millar, supported by Helen West, Beccy Barrett, Alex Jackson, Sophie Richardson & Andrew Fell, all friends of the eventing community.
‘After our tragic car accident in May, I just wanted to do something positive and help those involved but also other people, involved in eventing, who have gone through tough times. ‘The Eventing Family’ is all about giving back to people that have supported me and supporting charities that help people across the country. The response so far has been overwhelming. I am proud to be part of eventing and have this amazing community supporting us so positively and with such passion’ explained founding member Arron Millar.
The money raised for “The Eventing Family” this year will be split between Jemima Green (Jodie Amos’ former head girl who suffered life-changing injuries in a tragic road traffic accident in May this year along with Event riders Aaron Millar & Dan Sibley) Cancer Research UK (linking Ben Hobday and Hannah Francis’ battles with cancer), and Motor Neuron Research linking Pat West, Helen West’s mother who is suffering with this illness.
‘We are really excited to hosting this important event. The support we have already received has been unprecedented this is a real heart-warming representation of the eventing community.’ Beccy Barrett
The Eventing Family are running a charity fundraising evening on the Saturday night of Bicton International Horse Trials (August 22nd). This promises to be a night to remember, with a live band, food, bar, auction of promises as well as a slave auction (with some highly popular lots to bid on!!)
MORE INFORMATION will be released soon for the silent and slave auction but the team reports that they already have some very exciting offers from top class riders!
Keep your eyes open on EWW social media for details about tickets and further fundraising events.