Helen Kinsella & Farmers Hill Aristokat
BE Poplar Park
Berry Pony: Antberry
So this all started back in September 2016, after having a conversation with my Instructor, who asked why I wasn’t doing the Wobbleberry Challenge, my answer “I have never done an affiliated event, do you really think I could do it” A big YES came the reply. So I went home and guess what the closing date had gone, so I thought I would just offer to help in anyway I could, well I emailed Sally Barr and told her my story and to my delight I was now accepted as A Wobbleberry. My story in brief, I sadly lost my own son Antony at the age of 23 years in 2013 to Ewings Sarcoma, which is very closely related to Osteosarcoma which Hannah Francis had, I understood what it felt like to loose a child and wished I had had the inspiration to have done what Hannah and her parents have done with the Willberry wonder pony charity, as although I have fund raised for bone cancer and Ewings, it was nothing on the scale of this. So my training began, and my lovely horse Kat who can jump very big is not easy and very hard to keep in a rhythm but I kept working on it and entered Poplar Park Horse Trials on 21st May 2017. The day had arrived and having walked both the show jumping and XC courses the day before felt fairly confident and excited to be doing this even if I did feel a little under pressure having raised over £650, I didn’t want to let anyone down. Out came Kat who was rather excitable with the atmosphere was ready to explode. And so to my dressage, not my finest but still managed to achieve a respectable score of 38.5, I now had over an hour to wait for show jumping, however the time came and Kat was almost on the verge of out of control (if only I could do my XC first to quieten her down) however I went in with determination and unfortunately had 2 fences down with 8 faults but I had survived, I was on a score of 46.5. And now to the final phase XC, I am in the starters box with 10 seconds to go, (Antberry riding on my back) when the commentator mentioned why I was doing this challenge having lost Antony, I suddenly felt emotional and then thought I really must focus, and I was off. The XC course rode fantastically well and Kat stormed it clear in a time of 4 mins 45 secs (optimum time 4mins 59 secs). So I had finished on my score of 46.5. to achieve 17th in my section of 38. I came through the finish line and I remembered this lovely couple who kept saying “Well done” I then became a little emotional as I thought Ant (Antony) would be proud of his old mum. I later found out that the lovely couple were Sally and Ian Barr (founder of the Wobbleberry Challenge) It took me days for my adrenalin to calm down as I was on such a high, and my just giving page as gone up since I have done the challenge. Thank you to everyone who has supported me, this is an amazing charity I am now planning another event, and hope to get to some others to watch and support all the other amazing wobbleberries.
This last picture was taken by Ian Barr at the finish, my face really sums up the day.