With the eventing calendar cancelled due to the Corona Virus pandemic, the equestrian community have rallied together to provide an eventing fix of sorts which aims to raise vital funds for the NHS. With a star studded list including household name eventers to take part, we were delighted to see that Team BETTA Life rider Tom Bird received a Wild Card to take part too! The whole schedule is online and includes a dressage, showjumping and eventing element like the usual eventing program, but with a twist! No horses are to take part! This is a first for the equestrian community and something which promises excitement and sport of a different kind. We caught up with Tom Bird to ask him a little more about the event.
I have been asked to compete as a Wild Card in the NAF 5* Virtual Eventing Competition, having only competed to 3* this really was a step up! This event has been put on to raise as much money as possible for the NHS and we have already raised over £40,000! We had to film ourselves riding the 5* dressage test, a round of jumps at 1.20m (this was all done before the BEF advice not to jump!) and then an obstacle course on foot, not to mention the fancy dress trot up!
It will be broadcast live on the Virtual Eventing website and Facebook page on the 6th-10th May across the world with 52 of us competing. It is a great privilege to be asked as I am one of only two junior riders competing against the likes of William Fox Pitt, Laura Collett and Gemma Tattersall, so to be one of only two asked is a great honour! As it is all to raise money for the NHS I would be massively grateful for any donations and if you are able to share the link to anyone else who you think would donate, the link is:
Thank you to all who have donated so far. Looking forward to the event going live!
Facebook – @tombirdeventing
Instagram – @tom_bird_eventing_