What is Hannah’s Willberry Wonder Pony charity?

Hannah’s Willberry Wonder Pony charity was founded by Hannah Francis in March 2016.  Hannah, a hugely talented young event rider, was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, a rare form of bone cancer, in May 2015 at the age of just 17 years old.  The prognosis was very poor indeed and Hannah subsequently endured many months of painful and debilitating treatment, fighting the disease with extraordinary courage and dignity.  Hannah’s sheer determination was plain to see and she defied all medical opinion, continuing to ride right up until her tragically early passing at only 18 years of age on 1st August 2016.

With this in mind, Hannah founded her charity, Hannah’s Willberry Wonder Pony, in March 2016 to raise money to fulfil two principal objectives – to fund research into osteosarcoma and to provide equestrian experiences (“Willberry’s Wishes”) to seriously ill people.  The charity made strong progress under Hannah’s leadership and has gone from strength to strength since her passing, raising more than £800,000 in its first 18 months.  The charity is commencing a significant research programme as Hannah so dearly wished and is granting Willberry’s Wishes to seriously ill people in the hope that these experiences inspire others in the same way as they did Hannah, bringing a little happiness and hope during the darkest of times.

What is the Wobbleberry Challenge for Hannah’s Willberry Wonder Pony charity all about?

Primarily, this is a fund raising initiative to raise money for Hannah’s Willberry Wonder Pony Charity.

The “Wobbleberry Challenge” was set up because we were inspired by Hannah’s determination, and we wanted to raise money for a fantastic charity, where every penny will make a difference.  The Challenge started in 2016, raising over £250,000 in the first year, with over 1,200 people initially signing up.  This is not about a few people raising vast sums of money – it’s about what a group of normal people can achieve when working together.  There is no competitive element – this is all about supporting each other.  Lots of new friendships have been made because of the Challenge and people have done things they never imagined they were capable of.  There are no failures – we are celebrating every step on the journey.  As long as people have raised money, and done more than they had pre-challenge, we see this as a success.

People who take part in this personal challenge will be aiming at a BE80(T) event, having never completed one previously with their equine partner.  This has proven to be an effective balance between a proper challenge and one that is achievable by ordinary people, riding ordinary horses.  It has encouraged fantastic feats of fundraising and sponsorship and created a real sense of achievement when completing.  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 many ways, not least in encouraging people into the saddle and proving to themselves that they can achieve something not previously thought possible.

There is no need to commit to completing the challenge within 12 months – it should be a sensible journey, incorporating a training programme that takes into consideration an individual’s current level.

It’s aimed at people over 25 (post Pony Club), who would like to step up to BE and want to be involved supporting the charity.  The 2017 Challenge was aimed at middle aged, wimpy riders – and this is still the core group.  So far, our oldest Wobbleberry to complete was 76 years young!

For those not familiar with British Eventing, you should go to their website www.britisheventing.com, where you can find out more about the sport and the BE80(T) class in particular.

To find out more, join this webinar put together by one of our sponsors, Jenni Winter

How do I get involved?

There is a registration process and a sign-up fee, which is just £20 + vat.  This money goes directly to the charity.  The people running both the Challenge and Hannah’s Willberry Wonder Pony charity are all volunteers.  The sign up process is explained in the starter pack, but more information can be found on these pages and at www.willberrywonderpony.org.


The first stage is to buy a starter pack, which will be available with effect from 23rd October 2017 directly from Hannah’s Willberry Wonder Pony charity at www.willberrywonderpony.org.

What do I receive with my starter pack?

Participants will receive the following:

  • A free BE Horse Day Pass (worth £15, and required to enter your BE80(T))

  • Merchandise that identifies you as a member of the Challenge and a supporter of the charity – an exclusive armband, car sticker and an official Hannah’s Willberry Wonder Pony charity wristband, to show that you’re playing your part in #kickingcancersbutt

  • Exclusive Wobbleberry discounts on a range of products from leading equestrian brands

  • Permission to wear Wobbleberry Challenge merchandise (available from www.bee-promoted.co.uk)

  • An invitation to a private Facebook group with other people on the Challenge – where people can share stories, support one another and through which people can arrange group training, camps, etc., or share suitable training clinics and competitions.  Please note this is not guaranteed and is very dependent on the people and resources in each region.  While we would encourage people to help one another, the only thing we guarantee is support via social media

What additional support will I receive?

We will also share online resources that can help with the Challenge – such as goal setting videos, confidence workshops and training exercises from top riders.

We have the following leading riders and equestrian brands committed to providing exclusive Wobbleberry content:

  • Olympic rider Andrew Hoy will be providing rider training videos – www.hoyteam.com


  • Jenni Winter of Flying Changes Coaching is a Master Mindset and Performance Psychology Coach.  She will be providing a series of regular online workshops that Wobbleberries can follow in order to support their mindset and confidence during the training for the challenge – www.flyingchangescoaching.co.uk


  • Lily Clarke Equine Sports Therapist and Rehabilitation Specialist will be providing videos targeting different areas of the horse’s wellbeing – click here for website, or here for fb page.

Wobbleberry area representatives

If individuals wish to be more involved, they can also apply to be a representative within their area to add to those existing.  In addition to their starter pack, those Representatives accepted (limited numbers only in each area) will receive:

  • A Leroy and Bongo diary to record their journey – and this will be shared on social media

  • An invitation to join an additional private Facebook group, open only to reps across the country and the founder members of the Challenge.  Here questions can be asked and ideas shared amongst reps

  • An invitation to be one of the regular bloggers on the website and on social media platforms

What is expected of participants?
  • To set up your own Just Giving page, linked to the Challenge, and fund raise for Hannah’s Willberry Wonder Pony charity.  Everyone is asked to commit to raising at least £50, but we encourage people to set their own fund raising targets

  • To support and encourage other people on the Challenge via social media.  We will not tolerate anything less than a friendly and encouraging group.  Anyone not following the rules will be asked to leave the social media group and thankfully this has not been necessary so far.  All participants must take part in the Wobbleberry Challenge with the same ethos that Hannah would have advocated

  • To take responsibility for your own safety and training.  Eventing is a risk sport and people should consider if this is appropriate for them – and understand this is a personal journey, accepting the risks involved and that the level of training they undertake is their own decision.  We would highly recommend working with BE accredited coaches and attending a Try Eventing day prior to competition

  • We really hope that people signing up will seriously consider supporting the charity long term, by joining "Friends of Willberry".  Click here to find out more about this scheme. 

What is expected of reps?
  • Admin on social media and private Facebook groups – if necessary, regulating posts and ensuring it remains in the spirit of a supportive group

  • To blog about their journey and have this shared on social media to promote the Challenge

  • If there is enough interest in the local regions, to help organise or promote local training groups that adhere to the standards agreed by Wobbleberry HQ.  This is not mandatory

  • To share relevant training opportunities

  • To pass on information from Wobbleberry HQ to the group (information supplied via reps’ groups)

  • To ensure that members of the group are only those signed up for the challenge or BE representatives

  • To help promote local fundraising activities and ensure that the charity’s guidelines are followed, building an awareness of Hannah’s Willberry Wonder Pony charity

  • To keep both Wobbleberry HQ and the Hannah’s Willberry Wonder Pony media team (media@willberrywonderpony.org) appraised of activities in your area so that this can be shared