British Eventing Support Trust aims to support all competing members of British Eventing who are affected by a physical injury or mental health challenges. The charity also works to improve safety standards in the sport and ensure that horses and riders can take part in a sport.
The British Eventing Support Trust was launched at the Chedington Equestrian Bicton Park 5* Horse Trials in September 2021. The trust aims to help riders through difficult times, whether that be recovering from an eventing accident or coping with mental health challenges. It also seeks to promote, research, develop and implement initiatives which will help maintain the overall safety and welfare of our riders.
Ian Stark OBE FBHS will Chair the British Eventing Support Trust Board of Trustees, who is supported by a number of trustees.
“As a Trustee and Chair, I am absolutely delighted to be involved with British Eventing Support Trust,” said Ian. “We have witnessed the benefit of such support within many sports, especially racing with the hugely influential Injured Jockeys Fund.”
“The last two years have created added pressure on many within eventing, so it is particularly appropriate and pertinent that we are here to help our own through the difficulties of injury and mental health struggles. We are here to support our members in times of need.”
A number of high-profile riders are already lending their support to the work of the Trust; including Tokyo Olympic Gold medallists, Oliver Townend, Tom McEwen and Laura Collett. Laura knows first-hand how invaluable a helping hand can be when things go wrong – she benefitted greatly from being able to use the services at the Injured Jockeys Fund’s facility, Oaksey House, following a serious fall back in 2013.
“I think the most important thing is to have support from like-minded people – you go to your local doctor and they most likely tell you not to get back on a horse for six months. Working with people that understand our sport, appreciate the drive and determination to be back competing and want the same results that you do, is vital for a rider’s recovery,” said Laura.
“I was back competing six weeks and six days after my accident and that was all down to the team at Oaksey House. Being at Oaksey House, you are around other people that are going through the same sort of journey that you’re going through; so, you don’t feel so alone. I know I am not the only event rider to have used Oaksey House, so for us to have more access to these kinds of facilities, supported by our own sport, is great news.”
Laura continued, “To win a medal in Tokyo was beyond my wildest dreams and, on a personal note, I know what I had to go through to get it. People keep referring to my accident, especially in the aftermath of the Gold medal, but once I was back competing – that was the win for me. The support I received with my recovery meant I was able to close the door on that chapter, start a new journey and focus on the future. I hope the British Eventing Support Trust will enable many more riders to be able to continue doing what they love.”
The British Eventing Support Trust was set up to ensure that British Eventing’s riding members could access support when they needed it to be able