Annabelle's meeting with the legendary John Whitaker!
At the age of just 11 years old bullying had a devastating effect on the young life of Annabelle Tomlinson. It triggered her to develop Anorexia Nervosa, the diagnosis of which wasn’t reached until a year later when her weight had plummeted from 52kg to 27kg, which meant Annabelle had to spend several months in hospital.
Whilst dealing with the psychological battle against her Anorexia Nervosa, sadly Annabelle’s first pony was put to sleep. She was lovingly and bravely by his side when the time came to say goodbye. In an effort to put a smile back on Annabelle’s face her parents got front row seats at the Liverpool International Horse Show, but disaster was to strike. The fire that engulfed the car park destroyed the families car. To add to the misfortune some of Anabelle’s Christmas presents were in the car and more devastatingly her life long companion and comforter, soft toy Derek.
As soon as Willberry heard what had happened to Annabelle he sent her a Berry Pony to try and provide some of the companionship and comfort that was lost with her beloved Derek. Annabelle’s wish was to have a lesson with Olympian and show jumping legend John Whitaker!
Wand at the ready, Willberry got to work. As busy as John is, he kindly put time aside for Annabelle, but as the day of her lesson got closer Annabelle became poorly with flu and tonsillitis! Willberry frantically waved his wand to try and make her feel better but it was Annabelle’s determination that got her there on the day. Annabelle was a superstar during her lesson and her pony Jack was on his best behavior. Equestrian Photographer Adam Fanthorpe kindly donated his time and talent to capture some wonderful pictures of the lesson for Annabelle to keep.
Annabelle’s mum Sarah said that the Willberry Wish experience has had a really positive effect on Annabelle and since her lesson she has been to her first British Showjumping competition and jumped a double clear! A big thank you from Willberry to John and Clare Whitaker, Adam Fanthorpe and of course all of the HWWPC’s supporters for making this possible.