Europe’s leading equine feed manufacturer Dodson & Horrell presented its four equine bursary winners with their cheques at a VIP day out at the Dodson & Horrell Chatsworth International Horse Trials in Derbyshire on Saturday 14 May 2016.
Dodson & Horrell’s CEO Sam Horrell was joined by world renowned cross country course designer and Olympian Ian Stark OBE at the presentation of bursaries at the horse trials. The initiative was launched earlier this year and is aimed to enhance and support the equestrian industry. It gave equestrian enthusiasts the opportunity to nominate deserving candidates for four categories: Equine Charity, Equine Health, Equine Support, and Inspirational Rider.
Over 450 nominations were received; these were whittled down to a long list that was put to a panel of industry experts and a shortlist that was then put to a final public vote. Over 2,000 votes were processed and selected the final winners of each of the categories. A bursary of £2,000 has been awarded to each of the winners to contribute towards funding such as equipment, training, education and travel.
Equine Charity category winner, Jo Hawkins was nominated by Jane Cooper for her work for the charity that she founded, EquATA which is dedicated to helping adults and children suffering from all sorts of emotional, mental and behavioural problems, including children with autism. The charity is set in beautiful woodland in Northamptonshire and uses horses and ponies who have retired from their original jobs to act as therapists.
Lisa Prescott from Norfolk was nominated by Clare Malcolm and has won the Equine Health category for her exceptional dedication to helping others through her coaching and Equine Assisted Therapy work. Lisa hopes to use the bursary funds to progress onto an advanced course in Equine Holistic Massage Therapy to further enhance her skills and empathy in this area.
Lyn and Simon Blight based in Kent won the Equine Support category. The husband and wife team were nominated by Sophia Kell for providing therapy visits with their two ponies, Tere and Tinks to care homes, hospices and schools for both able bodied and disabled children. In addition to this Lyn supports Simon, who has developed multiple sclerosis with his para competition horses which gives him something to work towards. The bursary is crucial to supporting their costs involved with providing the therapy visits which in turn benefits many people.
The Inspirational Rider category winner was 14 year old Evie Toombes from Lincolnshire who was nominated by her mother, Caroline. Despite being diagnosed with a form of spin bifida, Evie regularly competes at grade 3 para showjumping level. Evie said, “Winning the Dodson & Horrell bursary is an amazing boost to my training, competing and care at shows. My sport means so much more to me than just competing as it gives me the confidence to deal with everyday life and find a way to cope.”
Sam Horrell, CEO at Dodson & Horrell commented: “It was a privilege to meet our four bursary winners and their guests at the Dodson & Horrell Chatsworth International Horse Trials. All of our winners are hugely deserving of the bursaries and we look forward to following their progression as the funds enable them to achieve their goals and help others in the future.”