From glittering balls to helping British Eventing riders…

Our 2023 Winter Ball was a success in every sense of the word. The team here at the British Eventing Support Trust worked hard for months to put on a spectacular night with a champagne reception, dinner, dancing and an auction at the Savoy in London last November. Our guests had a wonderful, memorable night, with the leading lights of the eventing and wider equestrian world showing up in their finery. Our amazing sponsors and supporters had stepped up donating not only their time, money and services but also  an array of superb prizes for the auction.

A six-figure sum to support riders

Together, our supporters and guests raised an incredible £217,000 at last year’s Winter Ball and we’re already busy planning the next iteration (Saturday 30th November 2024). The response to our work has been heartening showing that there’s a real need for wide-ranging support. Eventing is a sport of highs and lows, and we know that being able to help riders get back in the saddle after an injury or back on track after challenging times is vital.

The money raised last year is already being put to good use. Those of you who follow us on social media will see case studies that highlight the work we do and demonstrate how varied the recipients of our help are. From riders competing at the highest level of eventing to enthusiastic amateurs and everyone in between, provided someone is a competing member of British Eventing they can apply to access support. That might be in the form of a total recovery programme post-hospital to physiotherapy or neurotherapy.

Pledges to provide electric bikes to riders recovering from injury

Attendees at the 2022 ball pledged enough money to enable us to buy two electric bicycles from Eco Voltz Equestrian, who then very kindly matched those pledges! That means we have four bikes available to British Eventing riders who need them during their recovery, such as Tim Cheffings. Tim was injured while competing at Le Lion d’Angers last autumn and while he’s back in the saddle competing, long days on his feet take a toll. The use of an e-bike to walk the cross-country course and get around makes his life a lot easier. 

Pledges to provide vital mental health support

Our amazing supporters also pledged £4270 at the Winter Ball last year to enable us to run our mental health helpline. We launched this free, confidential service in Partnership with Sporting Chance in November, and you can read more about it here.

Here’s how the pledges are spent to help people in need of mental health support:

  • Our helpline is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, even over bank holidays – the number is 07780 008877.
  • Anyone who calls is connected to a mental health professional who assesses their situation.
  • If it’s agreed that support would be appropriate, six free counselling sessions are available.  If more than six sessions are required these will also be covered.
  • These sessions are free for the user and cost us between £85 and £100 each.
  • Psychiatric assessments and sessions are £400/session.

We’re hoping to make our 2024 winter ball the very best yet so that we can continue our important work. If you have any ideas for sponsors, auction or raffle prizes or would like to find out more about this year’s ball just get in touch using the contact details here.

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