Rachel wrote to Willberry wondering if he might help her through difficult times by fulfilling a dream of hers. Rachel was diagnosed with cervical cancer in 2018 and underwent the gruelling chemotherapy and radiotherapy, followed by extensive surgery. To stay positive throughout her recovery, Rachel set her sights on a Wobbleberry event with her lovely mare Dushy, but decided that at 18 perhaps Dushy was a little beyond such excitement! She bought an ex racehorse called Kes in December 2021, only to discover two weeks later that the cancer had returned and was incurable.
Rachel is determined to make the most of her life, and so she decided to ask Willberry if he could help her to chase her dreams of completing the Wobbleberry challenge, with the help of a training session with the inspirational event rider Jonty Evans.
Jonty knew Hannah and has always been a staunch supporter of the charity, even throughout his own physical and psychological battle following his horrific riding accident at Tattersalls event in 2018. So when we asked him if he could help us by giving Rachel some of his valuable time, this incredible man said an immediate “Of course”!” and we began to make plans.
As Rachel lived a long way from Jonty, he very kindly offered her a stable for the night for Kes, and we found a gorgeous hotel nearby for Rachel and her husband Pete to relax and enjoy after the lesson.
And what a fantastic lesson it was. Jonty shared the wealth of his knowledge and experience with Rachel, and the partnership grew in confidence throughout, jumping the bigger fences with ease by the end of the lesson. Rachel’s smile just got bigger and bigger! The following morning there was an unexpected treat in store for Rachel when she arrived at the yard; Jonty offered to let her ride the legendary Cooley Rorke’s Drift or “Art” as most of the equestrian world knows him. Rachel was blown away by such a lovely treat and had the most amazing time on board, although she said afterwards “I don’t think I did him justice!”
We are forever grateful to yet another staunch friend in the wonderful eventing world, Jonty, who gave his time, insights and support so readily and generously. Jonty, thank you from the bottom of our hearts. We can’t wait to see Rachel and Kes at an event next year, so #keepkickingcancersbutt Rachel and we will all be cheering you on soon❤️