Jockeys, event riders and show jumpers will come face to face at Bicton Arena’s championship showjumping show next weekend (23 August) in a brand new team challenge in aid of the Injured Jockeys’ Fund’s Oaksey House.
Dozens of riders have come forward in support of the event including high profile event rider Laura Collett who recently spent time recuperating at Oaksey House following her serious fall at Tweseldown which left her in a coma for six days.
Laura said: “It’s a fantastic new competition for Bicton Arena which should be a lot of fun and I’m so pleased it’s in aid of Oaksey House. I’m coming along to support and I’m hopeful I will be passed fit enough to actually compete in the competition too.”
The challenge will involve two teams of four riders from each discipline and they will jump a course in the main arena which will include a chase fence and a narrow cross country-style fence, commonly called a skinny.
Organiser Helen West, who manages Bicton Arena while competing at the higher levels as a professional event rider, said: “We hope to make it a yearly competition raising money for a nominated charity. There will be a lot of people at Bicton next weekend as it coincides with our three day affiliated show jumping show and it takes place in the evening which will all add to the fun. We are also very grateful to our Teign Valley Golf Club, Wrays Jewellers, Rendells of Kingsbridge and Clearwater Financial.”
Nick Scholfield, Joe Tizzard, Sam Twiston-Davies (pictured), Sam Thomas, Ian Popham, Gerry McGrath and Charlie Huxley are among the jockeys who are taking part.
Event riders include Althea Bleekman, who heads to the European Championships at Malmo next month as part of the Dutch team, her younger sister Janou, Aaron Miller, trainer Harry Fry’s sister Rosie, Phoebe Buckley and Helen who is a former team gold medalist at the European Young Rider Championships and winner last weekend of the CCI* at Hartpury Horse Trails with Foxdon Sunny Jim.
The action starts at 6pm in the main arena. Entry to the show is free, and donations to Oaksey House are welcome. Official sponsors are Teign Valley Golf Club, Wrays Jewellers, Rendells of Kingsbridge and Clearwater Financial.