A morning at home with Olympic gold medallist Nick Skelton and a lesson with the reigning Hickstead Derby champion William Whitaker are among the lots in an online charity auction hosted by Daisy Bunn.
Hickstead Director Daisy has organised the charity fundraiser in aid of two causes, the Mark Davies Injured Riders Fund (MDIRF) and the Ella Popely Memorial Fund. Ella was a talented teenage showjumper who regularly competed at the All England Jumping Course. Sadly, her young life was cut short in December last year, and plans are in place to create a fitting memorial at Hickstead.
The auction follows Daisy’s charity event, A Classically Equestrian Evening, which was held at Bush Hall in London earlier in March. The evening was introduced by MDIRF Patron Zara Tindall, and Ella’s mother Lea Popely.
The evening was a sell out and was attended by famous names from the equestrian and media world, including Hickstead Derby champions Trevor Breen and William Whitaker, and ITN news anchor Alastair Stewart. Daisy, a classical singer, performed a programme of opera and classical favourites, and was joined for duets by Horse & Country TV’s Jonathan Rippon and carriage driving champion James Broome, son of legendary showjumper David Broome.
Among the auction lots are the chance to spend the day at the yard of Rio 2016 gold medallist Nick Skelton, who has recently announced his retirement from showjumping. Following breakfast with Nick, the winning bidder will get to have a tour of his Warwickshire stables and meet the brilliant Big Star before heading for a tour of son Dan Skelton’s racing yard. They will then get to spend the rest of the morning on the gallops watching Dan’s horses be put through their paces.
Another of the auction’s top lots is the chance to have a lesson with the current Hickstead Derby champion William Whitaker. The lesson will be held at Shane Breen’s base at Hickstead at 8am on Thursday 22 June, and then the winning bidder will be given a pair of Members’ Enclosure tickets for that day at the Al Shira’aa Hickstead Derby Meeting.
Other showjumping training opportunities up for grabs include lessons with top Irish showjumper Shane Breen, two-time Hickstead Derby winner Trevor Breen, and USA Olympian Lauren Hough.
Carriage Driving fans can bid for a weekend of tuition with former National Driving Champion Claudia Bunn alongside two night’s bed and breakfast at Claudia’s charming cottage near Ludlow.
“There are some superb lots up for grabs, with funds going to two extremely good causes that are both close to my heart,” says Daisy.
The online auction can be found at http://www.jumblebee.co.uk/auction/detail/auction_id/1547#none. Bids close on Tuesday 18 April.
Tickets for the Al Shira’aa Hickstead Derby Meeting and the Longines Royal International Horse Show at Hickstead are on sale now at www.hickstead.co.uk.