As the eventing season draws to a close, The Wobbleberry Challenge, set up in August 2016 by Sally Barr and three other willing volunteers, has exceeded all expectations, with funds raised approaching £250,000 and more than 1,200 people signing up to take part.
The Challenge, set up exclusively to raise money for Hannah’s Willberry Wonder Pony Charity, has captured the imagination of the equestrian world. The charity was established in 2016 by Hannah Francis, a young event rider, who lost her battle to osteosarcoma in August of that year at the age of just 18 years old. The Wobbleberry Challenge is a key fundraiser for the charity and encourages non-eventers to challenge themselves to compete in a British Eventing BE80(T) competition, whilst raising funds for the charity.
With so many people wanting to sign up for 2017/18 and some wanting to defer their Challenge, it has been necessary to consider the future of the Challenge going forwards. Following discussions with the Trustees of Hannah’s Willberry Wonder Pony Charity, the Wobbleberry Challenge will continue to be a fundamental part of the Charity’s fundraising activities and has now been established as an annual programme.
Sally explains, “The Wobbleberry Challenge was set up because we were so inspired by Hannah’s determination and we wanted to raise money for a fantastic charity. People who take part in this personal challenge aim to complete a BE80(T) event, having never completed one previously with their equine partner. Typically, people who participated in 2017 had never considered attempting a BE, but were inspired by Hannah to push themselves. This is such a fundamental part of the Wobbleberry Challenge, because Hannah herself was so inspired by her riding. How fitting indeed that her legacy continues in so many ways, not least in encouraging people into the saddle and proving to themselves that they can achieve something not previously thought possible.”
To sign up for the 2017/18 Wobbleberry Challenge, please log onto the Hannah’s Willberry Wonder Pony Charity’s website at www.willberrywonderpony.org and purchase a starter pack for £20 plus VAT, the funds for which go directly to the charity. The sign-up process is explained in the starter pack, but more information can be found on the website and at www.wobbleberries.com. If individuals wish to be more involved, they can also apply to be a representative within their area.