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Wimbledon Village Stables have been organising the annual sponsored ride to support local charities for over 40 years. This year was no different, and horseriders raised an impressive £13,000.

Since 1977, Carol Andrews, owner of Wimbledon Village Stables, together with her sister-in-law and chief instructor Caroline Stevenson, have held charity fundraisers each year, hitting an impressive cumulative total of over £1 million. Despite the Covid-19 restrictions, they were determined that 2020 should be no exception, and with good reason – two very successful sponsored rides took place on 18th and 20th October, together raising £9,000 for the Royal Marsden Cancer Charity and £4,000 for the Wimbledon and Putney Commons Conservators.

The weather cooperated on both days, enabling some very enjoyable rides across Wimbledon Common and Richmond Park, with the riders organised in groups of four to ensure compliance with Covid-19 regulations and guidelines. But that didn’t stop the fun. All the riders — and their horses — were imaginatively and creatively arrayed in fancy dress, depicting characters as diverse as NHS workers in scrubs and rainbows, the Mad Hatter, Joe Exotic, Princess Merida, Minnie Mouse and, in the spirit of Halloween, a pumpkin.

Holding these sponsored rides really was an amazing achievement, both in terms of the money raised/donated and the enthusiasm of the participants in these uncertain times, while also providing some much-needed and appreciated amusement for spectators.

Prizes were awarded (outdoors, maintaining social distance) to the highest fund raisers — £1,085 by Rachel Hilton and £975 by Aneen van Deventer — and to the fancy dress winners. On Sunday, first place prize went to the Tiger King pair, Joe Exotic (Heidi Kirby) and Carole Baskin (Emma Cofie), with the NHS workers (Deborah Tarrant and Peter Edwards) in second place. On Tuesday, Corpse Bride (Izzy Skellet) and Hagar the Horrible (Terry Cook) won first and second places respectively. 

Wimbledon Village Stables would like to thank all the participants for entering into the spirit of the occasion so thoroughly, despite the Covid-19 restrictions, and all those who so generously made donations to such worthy charities in this time of need.

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