Amateur riders join Nick Skelton and Ben Hobday in Willberry race

image of Hannah Francis
Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInGoogle+Email to someone

Eight amateur riders have been picked to ride in a Willberry charity race at Cheltenham, where they will compete against top riders, including Nick Skelton and Ben Hobday.

Raise £100,00

The Champions Willberry Charity Race is in aid of Hannah’s Willberry Wonder Pony and the Bob Champion Cancer Trust.

Nick Skelton, Ben Hobday, Tina Cook and either William or Alice Fox-Pitt have signed up for the race, while the remaining jockeys were whittled down from over 600 entrants.

Bob Champion was on the selection committee and said it was a tough job.

“Everyone who applied was worthy, so it all came down to suitability and fundraising,” he said. “We hope we have got a good mix of people and that everyone else still comes along on the day, to join us for lunch, or just to watch, and to be a part of this special occasion.”

Each rider has pledged to raise a minimum of £2,500 and it is hoped the race will make at least £100,000 for these two worthy charities.

The riders are:

Madeleine Bunbury, 21, an artist who divides her time between Dorset and Mustique.

Anne Dawson, 37, a policewoman and passionate equestrian from Bishops Stortford in Hertfordshire.

Abigail Dean, 27, an event rider from Gloucestershire. She previously worked for the late Sir Henry Cecil, who battled with cancer.

Sheikh Fahad Al Thani, 27, chairman of Qatar Racing and participant in the 2016 Mongol Derby.

Scott Lowther, 43, director of a construction company and a racing and eventing enthusiast, from Waterbeck in Scotland.

Catherine Mills, 37, from Amersham, works for a member’s only lifestyle and management company and is an amateur event rider.

Ben Moore, 39, a soldier from Melton Mowbray. Before he joined the army, Ben worked in racing and wants to take part in this race for his pony-mad daughter who is fighting cancer.

Jasean Spraggett, 24, a showjumper and working hunter rider from Leicestershire. Nicknamed ‘Quevega’ due to her love of all things Cheltenham. (Quevega won the David Nicholson Mares’ Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival a record six times in a row.)

The reserves are, Kim Franklin, 50, a property landlord from Hertfordshire; Ross Sanderson Jago, 39, a bid manager from Buckinghamshire; and Alison Tyas, 36, a nursery assistant from Norfolk.


Ian Peters, trustee of Hannah’s Willberry Wonder Pony charity, said: “We never cease to be amazed at the generosity and spirit of our supporters and we want to thank everyone who applied to ride in this race.

“Bob and Hannah are both an inspiration to the equestrian community and our shared goal of #kickingcancersbutt unites the charities in a common purpose.  Now we want everyone, riders and supporters alike, to come and support the brave riders and both charities on the day.”

For details of the event and how to sponsor the jockeys or donate money, please go to

Filed under: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Related Stories

Daisy Bunn sings for the Mark Davies Injured Riders Fund Is there no end to Daisy Bunn’s talents? Hickstead director, H&C blogger, photographer and classical singer – as we discovered at a Mark Davies Injured Riders Fund (MDIRF) charity event. Famous faces Daisy took to the stage for a Classically Eq...
FEI Eventing Throughout the event season H&C is showing highlights from the FEI Classics, which brings together the world’s very best FEI Eventing competitions. There are six, four-star events in the series: Les 4 Etoiles de Pau, France 12-16 October 201...
Catch all the action from the FEI Classics on H&C With the Eventing season well under way, the FEI Classics 2016 / 2017 kicks off again next month – and H&C is showing highlights from each leg. Big bonus The FEI Classics brings together all six of the four-star events on the international Even...
William Fox-Pitt: ‘Sadly, I’m not Mark Todd’ H&C caught up with William Fox-Pitt to find out what he’s been up to since Rio. Celebration William was one of many Olympic and Paralympic riders to attend a reception, hosted by the Duchess of Cornwall to celebrate the success of Rio 2016. ...
William Fox-Pitt’s Olympic ride Chilli Morning retires to stud William Fox-Pitt's Olympic ride Chilli Morning has left the yard to start his career at stud. Badminton winner The 17-year-old chestnut amassed 1,716 points during his eventing career. He became the first stallion to win Badminton in 2015, and he t...