When the British Eventing Support Trust was set up in 2021, we wanted to help all British Eventing competing rider members who needed our support. Whether that was because they had been injured whilst training or competing or they found themselves with mental health struggles, the BE Support Trust would help riders. Since then, we’ve supported international riders like Nicola Wilson and Jonty Evans, and that’s helped raise our profile within equestrian sport. This is fantastic for helping us fundraise, but it’s led to a small misconception – that we only support top-level riders.
Luckily for everyone else, our aim is to help as many riders as possible and it doesn’t matter what level they are competing at! So, whether you’re aiming for your first three-day or you’ve just started out in BE80, you can contact us if you find yourself in need. With that in mind, we thought it would be interesting to share two case studies with you from grassroots riders – Rebecca Page and Abbie Burbage. Read on to learn how we helped both these ladies get back in the saddle and enjoying the sport of eventing, and then how you can help support our work.
“Back in July 2022, whilst competing at Buckminster Park, I had a fall at the penultimate fence cross- country. As a result, I found myself in Nottingham Hospital awaiting surgery on two broken legs – a Pilon fracture in the left and a complex ankle break to both sides of the joint on the right. I was told this would be a career-ending injury and I would be lucky to walk properly again, let alone ride!
As soon as I was out of plaster, I was at the Injured Jockeys Fund at Newmarket, thanks to the British Eventing Support Trust. It was great to be surrounded by people that were pushing me to get back on a horse and where I needed to be as soon as possible!! I started with six weeks in the hydrotherapy pool, walking on the water treadmill, balancing and doing exercises to help the ankles start to engage without the load. I progressed to the gym where I started strength and fitness work. I was told that realistically, I wouldn’t be back on a horse until December, and I fully respected what they had to say. I knew the team there understood riders would give me the green light as soon as I was ready.
With the help and expertise of the guys at the IJF, I smashed the December goal and returned to the saddle in November with their blessing. I still work out at the IJF gym twice a week because their expertise on fitness of riders is second to none. The focused nature of the rehabilitation they delivered truly made all the difference to the outcome of my injuries.
It’s fair to say that my pre-season training this year looked a little different to others. My confidence had taken a bit of a hit, and I am slowly putting that back together. That has been the focus for me and getting that back so I can do the best by my horses. I think somehow, they all know, and they are doing their utter best to look after me! But for now, instead of planning where to take the horses, I am seeing where the horses take me.”
“I have evented up to two-star level on home produced horses but, after sustaining a nasty fall off a three-year-old which resulted in me having surgery, I knew I needed help. I contacted the British Eventing Support Trust shortly after my surgery, and they helped me put a rehab plan in place. They also helped me figure out how to move forward and get back to riding and competing after my rehab. I know for a fact that without their help, I would not be currently competing to the same level as I was last year. Their support is invaluable to any BE member who may sustain an injury or need mental health help. I highly recommend anyone who may need help get in contact with them as they truly understand your situation.”
How you can help:
We’re so proud of our work so far in supporting riders, and we’re only just getting started. We know that accidents can and do happen in eventing, so we see our work as being vital to ensuring everyone can enjoy the sport and know we’re here to help them if they need it. If you’d like to enable the British Eventing Support Trust to support more riders, here are just a few ways you help us:
Come to our Winter Ball!
We have a handful of tickets left for our Winter Ball, which takes place at the Savoy in London on Saturday 18th of November. The evening includes a champagne reception, superb three-course dinner, wine, dancing and an auction! Snap up tickets here.
Become a partner
We have three tiers of partnership within the BE Support Trust available – gold, silver and bronze – so there’s an option for businesses and organisations of all sizes. If you’d like to learn more about the benefits of partnering with the British Eventing Support Trust, please drop our charity administrator Jane Rudd a line and she will get in touch.
Fundraise for us
If the long winter without eventing means you’ll be at a loose end, why not dream up a challenge and raise some much-needed funds for our cause? You might decide to train for a sporting challenge (the London Marathon, anyone?) or, if you’re a professional rider or coach, raffle off lessons or a yard tour and donate the proceeds!
Donate to our cause
If you’d like to donate to the BE Support Trust to help us support more riders, please either email info@BESupportTrust.org.uk or click here to visit our JustGiving page. We are so grateful for all your support, and every size of donation is very gratefully received – thank you.