September 7, 2023

Horatio’s Garden spends a long weekend at Defender Burghley Horse Trials as charity of the year

The sun was unexpectedly shining for the Defender Burghley Horse Trials last week from Thursday 31 August – Sunday 3 September, which we were delighted to be a part of as the event’s charity of the year!

Established in 1861 and held in the magnificent estate surrounding the beautiful Burghley House outside Stamford in Lincolnshire, Defender Burghley Horse Trials is an international, world-renowned sporting event.

The Three Day Eventing extravaganza attracts fantastic crowds, who once again were treated to exhilarating equestrian action and enjoyed browsing the event’s extensive shopping avenues, pavilions and Burghley Food Walk. Part of the Rolex Grand Slam of Eventing, Defender Burghley Horse Trials is consistently in the Top 10 of UK Sporting Events (Deloitte).

Horatio’s Garden were thrilled to be among the avenues, both with our beautiful tradestand and at the Shoppers’ Drop. It was here that we had the pleasure of meeting many wonderful people, all of whom were keen to hear more about the charity’s plans to plant hope at the Princess Royal Spinal Injuries Centre at Northern General Hospital in Sheffield, where Horatio’s Garden Sheffield & East will support multiple counties, including Lincolnshire, once open in 2024.

The week began with our incredible staff and volunteer team bringing our gorgeous tradestand to life, which was home to an array of bespoke Horatio’s Garden merchandise. Visitors were thrilled to see our exclusive Emma Bridgewater designed mugs, tea towels and aprons were all available, alongside our charming new Christmas Card designed by Luiza Holub.

Bunny Guinness and Unity Guinness were right in the midst of the action throughout the long weekend, supporting the team and turning their horticultural talents to creating the stunning planting display, all of which were provided by the brilliant team at Rutland Nursery. Their creations attracted many lovely comments throughout the week, as did the exquisite Weaver Green rug, which perfectly completed the look.

With the triumphant show opening came the beginning of our Pol Roger special at-show competition, which gave one lucky person the chance to win six bottles of Champagne Pol Roger Brut Reserve by guessing the number of corks in the basket. The total number was 795; huge congratulations to our winner Amy Taylor from Rippingale in Lincolnshire, who was as thrilled as we were by the exciting news!

Over the course of the coming days, we were soon visited by Miranda Rock, President of Defender Burghley Horse Trials, who shared:

“We’re so thrilled to support this marvellous charity and hope this event will help to raise the profile of Horatio’s Garden. It’s been a truly special year for them winning Best in Show at RHS Chelsea Flower Show. The partnership with Burghley is particularly fitting because of their current appeal for Horatio’s Garden Sheffield & East – a garden which will support this community in the future.”

Not long afterwards, we were also joined by William Oswald, Chairman of Defender Burghley Horse Trials and the Lifeguards, who form part of the judging team. Everyone was incredibly friendly and intrigued to hear more about the charity’s work across the UK.

International event rider Harry Meade also kindly made sure to show his support for Horatio’s Garden and the team were delighted to watch as he jumped our special Horatio’s Garden fence with Cavalier Crystal on the Cross Country Course.

He shared: “I encourage the eventing community to support this fantastic cause. I have seen first hand the difference Horatio’s Graden makes to the wellbeing of people after life-changing spinal injury. They are a truly wonderful charity to partner with this year’s Defender Burghley Horse Trials.”

Thanks to the Defender Burghley Horse Trials team, we were fortunate to feature on Burghley TV, in the Celebrity Talk Area and on BHT Radio, with a particularly memorable interview featuring Horatio’s brother and Horatio’s Cycle team member, Titus Chapple, alongside international event rider and Olympic silver medallist Nicola Wilson.

Titus and Nicola first met when the Horatio’s Cycle team visited the spinal centre at James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough, where Nicola was a patient after she sustained a spinal injury during last year’s Badminton Horse Trials. The two reminisced about their chance meeting during the team’s epic 1100 mile adventure to all 11 NHS spinal injury centres in just 11 days, which marked the beginning of Nicola’s incredibly generous support of the charity.

The event certainly was short of excitement and additional highlights included being visited by the one and only Clare Balding, British actor and Horatio’s Garden Sheffield & East Ambassador, George Robinson, TV presenter Rosie Tapner, and event rider Lucy Jackson to name but a few.

It was also a pleasure to welcome Empingham Dog Training Club to the tradestand, who kindly collected donations for Horatio’s Garden at the dog agility area (and who brightened everyone’s day by introducing us to a few of their furry friends)!

We are enormously grateful to everyone who came to see us and to all those involved in making the event a success, including the entire Defender Burghley Horse Trials team and our fantastic staff and volunteers.

Could you help to bring Horatio’s Garden Sheffield & East to life at the Princess Royal Spinal Injuries Centre at Northern General Hospital in Sheffield in 2024?

Please donate here.

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