Five-time Olympian Ian Stark travelled down to the Chedington Bicton Park 5* Horse Trials to promote British Eventing’s new charity, the British Eventing Support Trust, which aims to help riders who are struggling after injury or mental-health problems.

Ian, a three-time Badminton winner, multi-medalled member of the British team for 16 years and now a course-designer, is chairman of the British Eventing Support Trust, for which trustees include former eventer and thoroughbred breeder Lady Lloyd Webber and businessman Mark Sartori, owner of Izzy Taylor’s European championship ride.

Britain’s Olympic gold medal trio, Oliver Townend, Tom McEwen and Laura Collett, who credits the Injured Jockeys Fund’s (IJF) rehabilitation centre at Oaksey House with getting her back to fitness after a serious fall, are also giving the charity their backing and a series of fund-raising events are planned for 2022.

“It’s important to look after our own and we can definitely do more,” said Ian. “The charity will be purely to support riders, whether that be for referrals, including for mental health, or for sending them to one of the IJF centres for rehabilitation after injury.

“We’re now much more aware of mental-health issues these days and we want riders to be able to ask us for help, and that includes riders from any nation that are members of BE. The IJF has set a high standard in racing and it’s important that we raise our game.”

The charity will also be working with Riders Minds, an online resource and helpline founded by the late event rider Matthew Wright.

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