Willberry had a great time granting a wish to the very deserving Long daughters. Danny, Isobel and Megan's father, had got in touch in search for a wish for his wife Jo, who had been diagnosed with breast cancer in October 2018 and sadly told that it had turned terminal in March 2019. Her wish was to let her two daughters meet their heroes. Isobel was first up to meet hers, the one and only Ben Hobday, and what better place than Willberry's favourite event, Badminton Horse Trials!
Heartbreakingly Jo lost her battle just a few weeks ago so couldn’t be here at Badminton with them, but Willberry was blown away but just how overwhelming lovely this awesome family were. No doubt Jo was looking down with smiles that matched theirs.
Willberry caught up with Isobel afterwards to see what it is really likely to be on the receiving end of his magic wand...
“What an amazing, super, #yehboi day I had on the 1st May...
This once in a life time experience began the day before when we enjoyed our stay at the Stanton Manor hotel where we spent our evening exploring the gardens after a delicious meal.
The next morning I woke filled of excitement to meet team Ben Hobday and team Willberry Wonder Pony and to have the best day ever - I never would have been able to imagine the day to have been any better ! It was my first time going to Badminton so the atmosphere as we arrived was wonderful. Of course we headed to the shopping village to go in search of items we probably didn’t need; however to the relief of my bank account I managed not to buy anything! But finally the time had come to make our way to the Willberry stand to meet team Willberry where we were welcomed with the smiling faces of the team and where given a much appreciated goodie bag so that I can continue spreading the word of Willberry. The anticipation to meet Ben Hobday was high - I kept thinking to myself what I was going to say when I met him, it was truly a dream come true.
Before I knew it I was standing in the grand Badminton stables next to Ben Hobday who included us in his Badminton experience seamlessly enabling our experience to be the absolute best it could be... the day just got better and better as we met Ben’s horse called Wizard who was being exercised by his groom Louis. As always the camera was out and multiple snaps were being taken to capture these priceless memories which my Willberry called Chillberry accompanied me throughout the whole experience and featured in multiple photos.
The moment which really took my breath away was when we made our way out onto the famous Badminton trot up with the picturesque backdrop of the Badminton house, where historical winners of Badminton had taken to the stage. The Badminton arch alike to the house itself was stunning and I vividly recall staring up at the arch with Ben beside me and appreciating just how lucky I was to be granted my Willberry wish. Ben continued to surprise us whilst we were on the trot up by saying that we were going to be in the stables when he and Wizard were doing the trot up and that he wanted us to come to one of his experience days which would be simply amazing!
The day maintained its memories when we watched Ben ride in the main arena and in the warm up arenas. Later in the day the trot up commenced and I was surrounded by all the equine super stars! Watching Ben and Wizard get smart in preparation for the trot up was a pleasure and made me appreciate the amount of hard work and organisation which goes into events like Badminton. Sighs of relief came after each horse was announced fit to compete in the competition...
The memories and experiences that I had from the 1st of May were beyond my wildest of dreams and it’s all thanks to team Willberry for granting my wish. This blog doesn’t do justice to the once in a lifetime day I had, it’s difficult to put but words all the memories I have - there are so many and I am quite literally speechless when it comes to expressing how thankful I am and how much I enjoyed it.”