The 15th and final annual Charity Dressage Competition in aid of Spinal Research is being held on Sunday 1st March at Arena UK near Grantham.
This popular event began in 2000 when organisers Phil and Chris Newton became aware of a paralysed man who completed a parachute jump to raise awareness and money for Spinal Research. This one fact stopped them both in their tracks, and motivated by the many years of enjoyment they have had from being involved with horses, but at the same time knowing that serious injuries can result from equestrian sport, they thought they should try to put something back to help those who had not fared as well as they had.
In February 2000, they organised and ran a dressage competition at Brackenhurst College who were incredibly supportive, for the benefit of Spinal Research. It was intended to be a one off and they hoped to make £1,000. They made £2,000 for the charity and it seems everyone enjoyed themselves so much that the competitors asked for the competition to run again in 2001. Over the years the competition outgrew Brackenhurst due to its popularity and moved to the present base at Arena UK, near Grantham. As they say the rest is history.
Spinal Research is a charity which focuses on research and clinical field trials in the area of spinal cord repair. The charity receives no government funding and is totally dependent on fund raising activities.
During the last few weeks there has been extensive coverage in the media concerning the promising research into olfactory ensheathing cells which have helped a paralysed man in Poland. The scientist featured in the recent BBC Panorama is one of the many that the charity has funded.
“To date the Charity Dressage events have raised slightly more than £74,000,” said Chris. “In our final year we are hoping to increase the amount of money raised by a significant amount and would love to touch the £80,000 mark. The competition makes around £2,000 from entry fees, but all the rest of the income is from personal donations, business sponsorship and the raffle. Local businesses throughout the Trent Valley have been incredibly supportive of this competition and many of the helpers and competitors live in Southwell and the surrounding area.”
For further details on how to enter the competition or contribute to this worthy cause please contact Phil on 07769733772 or email firstname.lastname@example.org