Riders from De Montfort University Leicester's (DMU) Equestrian Society have dared to bare all for a charity calendar.
Braving a bitingly cold October, club members stripped to their smalls and conducted two photoshoots at their home yard, Witham Villa in Broughton Astley,
The resulting pictures have been made into a calendar, sales of which will raise funds for their chosen charities; Willberry Wonder Pony and Bright Red.
Club Chair and Interior Design BA (Hons) undergraduate Beth Collop said: “I’m so excited to launch this year’s calendar for two amazing cancer charities, Willberry Wonder Pony and Bright Red, which are very close to our hearts.
“Our aim this year is to raise even more money than we have ever done before with this project that we put so much time and effort in to.”
The Willberry Wonder Pony Charity was set up by Hannah Francis, a talented rider who died earlier this year from aggressive bone cancer, aged just 17.
The charity established by Hannah, supports seriously ill people, granting them equine-related wishes and funding bone cancer research.
Some of the DMU team were lucky enough to meet charity patron and British Event Rider; Ben Hobday at the 2016 Blenheim Horse Trials, where he rode side saddle to raise money for both Willberry Wonder Pony and Bright Red. He expressed his gratitude to the girls for their efforts in raising money for the two charities.
Bright Red is closely linked to Ben who was diagnosed with a rare form of lymphoma in 2015, before he made a miraculous recovery to riding this year.
The charity is a blood cancer charity aiming to improve the lives of those suffering with a form of blood cancer. Ben became a patron of the charity after experiencing first-hand the work that the charity does.
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Last year the club raised £700 for the Riding for the Disabled Association (RDA), a charity that helps people with disabilities and learning difficulties.
Members of the team have volunteered in the past to support the charity at RDA riding days for disabled children from local schools.
Their efforts last year were documented in Horse and Hound magazine, the UK’s oldest and most famous weekly equestrian publication.
Team Captain and Footwear Design BA (Hons) undergraduate; Lauren Allin said: “We are hoping for a fantastic year this year and have pledges of support from some big names in the equestrian world.
“Doing the calendar is a wonderful way to break the ice with our newest members. What better way to get to know each other than stripping off in the freezing cold.
“We hope we can raise as much money as possible for our amazing charities.”
The calendars will be available to purchase from the university, at the clubs sponsors Riseholme Feeds Country Store and also online.
Posted on Wednesday 23rd November 2016