Eventing has always been famous for the level of camaraderie amongst participants. The phenomenal sum of £12,467.00 raised for the Friends of PICU charity, in memory of Bruce and Alison Haskell’s baby son Miles, at last year’s Eventers’ Ball was a further testament to how far eventers will go to support their own.
I interviewed Andrew Fell, one of the founders of the new group The Eventing Family, for more details about the group and its aims. In just a few weeks they already have over 600 Twitter followers and nearly 4,000 Likes on FB, which is phenomenal.
Today the list of fantastic promised Auction Items goes live. Bidding doesn’t open till the 15th of August, so there’s lots of time for browsing on the website The Eventing Family.
The group was the brainchild of Aaron Miller, while he was recovering from the horrific fatal car crash which left Jemima Green (Jodi Amos’s ex head groom) paralysed from the chest down.
Aaron realised that all around him were members of the Eventing Family struggling in times of need. The likes Ben Hobday and Hannah Francis, mentioning only two of the many fighting the big C, to Jemima, looking at a completely changed future in front of her, to Pat West (Helen West’s mum losing her battle with Motor Neurone Disease).
Andrew said “The support that we have received had been overwhelming with some amazing auction lots, help on the night and sponsorship. We have had offers of help with everything, the only thing we could do with more of is time!! When we started to plan the night we had 52 days until the night, we now have 27 days to go……. We are on track and are very excited by the auction prizes we have on offer. For example, we have a day with Andrew Nicholson for you and your horse, along with two tickets for the BRDC (British Racing Driver’s Club) awards night to name just two!”
This year they are supporting 4 charities: Cancer Research, the Teenage Cancer Trust, Spinal Research and the Motor Neurone Disease Association. In the future they hope to make it into a registered charity that can directly help those in need within the Eventing Family.
Although this was originally Aaron’s brainchild, it would never have got off the start blocks if it had not been for the committee that have given up their time to get involved and make it a reality. Helen West and Beccy Barrett are both friends of Aaron’s and initially they got together with Sophie Richardson, Gemma Cooke and Debbie Jackson to “brainstorm” the idea of holding a fund-raising evening. Andrew Fell quickly came on board to help direct proceedings and they immediately enlisted the help of Miranda Collett.
The charity party night is being held at Bicton Horse Trials on Saturday 22nd August, the weekend that Bicton is running a CIC* and CIC**, so many competitors and their crews will hopefully be stabling onsite and will buy tickets for the party. Helen West is the Organiser of Bicton, and Clinton Devon Estates has kindly agreed to the charity evening being hosted there. It promises to be a night to remember, with a champagne reception, great food, popular band ‘Joey The Lips’ playing for the night and some fantastic auction prizes, along with some ‘slave lots’ that will get everyone bidding!
If you can’t make it to Bicton but still want to be involved, they will be accepting bids online on the night. You can also donate by clicking on the Donate tab on the website. Or, they are looking for Table Sponsors, at £200 a table this is a great way to raise brand awareness, if you know of a company which might want to be involved. They have sold 7 tables already but have another 18 to go, so do get in touch if you would like to contribute in this way.
Future plans: They have ordered wristbands and these will be the ID to get into the party on the night, and then afterwards they will go on sale as a further way to get people involved and to raise funds.
Tickets are available from the website www.eventingfamily.com. Please support them if you can.