Photography - Jonathan Clarke
The SEIBBurghley Sponsored ride took place over a 12km course in Burghley Park. Participants ranged from five year old children to former rescue horses to ex racehorses and riding instructors. The course permittedthe riders to follow in the footsteps of great three day event riders, and most recently the newBurghley winner, Michael Jung. Whilst jumping the fences was not allowed, riders were able to get up close to many of the legendary jumps and splash about in the landmark Burghley Trout Hatchery.
Sponsored ride organiser, Ian Scott said, “Thanks to the generosity of our sponsors SEIB Insurance Brokers, 100% of the entry fee and sponsor money for the SEIB Burghley Sponsored Ride goes to charities”. Ianand ahuge team of volunteers from the ex-Round Tablers group - Stamford XT gave their time free of charge to organise and marshal the ride. Ian continued, “We are just delighted to have seen so many happy horses and riders completing the ride”.
Proceeds from the ride go to local charities and equine charities, the British Horse Society (BHS), World Horse Welfareand the KestevenRiding for the Disabled Association(RDA) are beneficiaries. Ian continued, “I can safely say that this year the SEIB Burghley ride will have raised £20,000 for these incredibly worthy charities.This means that since the ride started in 1996 we will have raised a cumulative total of over £200,000. None of this would be possible without the permission and support of the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials”.
Teams from each of the three equine beneficiary charities, The British Horse Society, World Horse Welfare and the Kesteven RDA completed the ride. Karen Thompson of the Kesteven RDA said, “We had done the ride many years ago and then last year decided to do it again. After the ride, I emailed ride organiser, Ian Scott on the off-chance that we could be considered as a beneficiary charity and now here we are!” The Kesteven RDA are enthusiastically raising money to fund a new mechanical horse simulator for their riders.
Four horse and rider combinations from World Horse Welfare took part in the Sponsored ride. The group from Hall Farm Rescue and Rehoming Centre in Norfolk all completed the ride on horses that had previously been rescued by World Horse Welfare. Amy Gedge who rode World Horse Welfare Sinbad said, “We came last year as a group and really wanted to do the ride again. It’s nice to show that our ponies can do it too, even if they haven’t had the best start in life.”
Two of the three ponies from the recent BHS Appeal to tackle the unprecedented equine welfare crisis in the UK; Hope and Charity, took part in the SEIB Burghley Sponsored ride. Both Hope and Charity were in a terrible state when rescued and thanks to the BHS and all the members that supported the appeal, the ponies are now happy and healthy, enjoying their new life at BHS approved Radway Riding School in Warwickshire. Alex New who rode Charity in the Burghley ride said, “Radway is the perfect environment for Charity, she has really blossomed since coming to us from SWHP who did a great job starting Charity’s rehabilitation. The aim is for her to be a fully-fledged riding school pony in the very near future, she is already taking part in lessons and enjoying all of the attention”.
Some riders were taking part in the ride for the first time and others have completed it many times. The six strong team from Frost Meadows Livery Yard in Northampton team from Frosty Meadows Livery Yard looked great in their matching outfits sponsored by Groomers and S W Scaffolding in Northampton. It was their first time taking part in the ride. Team member Jenny Grace said, “It is our first time doing the ride. I can’t believe how big the jumps are, it’s amazing. I’ve already decided I’m definitely going to do the ride again next year.”
Raising as much money as possible for the SEIB Burghley sponsored ride beneficiary charities was a big goal for many of the participants. Pauline Cushing from Moulton near Newmarket raised the fantastic total of £675 in sponsorship, she rode her horse, Beau Magic. Pauline said, “I worked for International Racehorse Transport in Newmarket for 26 years. They were exceptionally generous and donated £200. Once I had raised this amount I knew I had to give it a real go to raise as much as possible. People have been so unbelievably generous and the yard where I keep Beau Magic, Brookside Livery in Little Bradley have been exceptional in their support. Horses have given me huge amounts of pleasure and now I really want to give something back as a reward to my four legged friends”.
Kim Philpot, who rode her horse Eddie round the course, raised over £180 in sponsorship in the lead up to the event. “I did it for charity and I think it is good to support these charities. We had a fantastic ride – it was well worth it”, she said. Several other riders also raised well over £100 each in sponsorship.
“This is a wonderful opportunity for riders of all levels to ride round Burghley and raise money for good causes at the same time. It is important to us that 100% of the money raised by participants goes to charity”, said SEIB Marketing Manager, Nicolina Mackenzie. SEIB offers competitively priced insurance cover for a multitude of equestrian possessions and pursuits and the company has a long held ethos of putting something back into equestrian sport. The company is also the sponsor and organiser of the hugely popular SEIB Racehorse to Riding Horse show class held in the main arena also on the Sunday at the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials.
Everyone that completed the coursereceived a special SEIB rosette and goody bag. Burghley sponsored prizes were donated for the riders that raised the most money.