Wednesday, 13 May 2020 19:31

Devizes event rider takes a podium spot in virtual Badminton for NHS charities Featured

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THREE of Wiltshire’s top event riders won top five places in a unique online international sporting challenge.

With lockdown cancelling the sport’s premier event, Badminton Horse Trials last weekend, the competition went online – with a difference – to raise more than £150,000 for NHS charities.

Kirsty Chabert from Salisbury won the event with Marston’s Louisa Lockwood coming fourth and Will Rawlins from Swindon coming in fifth.

Fifty of the World’s top riders took part, including Olympic champions, each vying for the top spot and raising money for NHS charities equivalents.

Horses were only involved in the dressage phase – the rest of the stages were run with riders on foot, in fancy dress or fully kitted out in cross-country gear for timed races including apple bobbing and egg and spoon challenges.

The event entries were filmed in advance, and played out, complete with BBC sports commentators, on Virtualeventing.com over the weekend.

Louisa trains at Marston near Devizes and has competed at both Badminton and Burghley - two of the sport’s top level events.

She has represented GB at junior level.

Louisa rode Diamond Ructions in the dressage, owned by Iain Greer and Bronwen Jones.

“I was super pleased with my dressage, but I’m so competitive and was annoyed I didn’t go faster in the cross country,” she said.

“The attempts to help me apple bobbing were hilarious and my dog was amazing even if his enthusiasm did trip me up."

“It was great to do something to help and support the NHS while in lockdown and we haven’t laughed so much in a long time!

“Hopefully we provided people watching with a good laugh too.”

Rachel Wakefield, organiser of Virtual Eventing, said: “The event is all a bit of fun in the name of a great cause and I just ask everyone; friends, family, and supporters of our wonderful sport to dig deep.”

Louisa has so far raised nearly £2,000. The link to her fund raising page can be found through virtualeventing.com,

Badminton Horse Trials, held at the Badminton estate, has been re-scheduled for May 5 to 9 next year.

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