Raising the bar at Snowball Farm

October 3, 2014

DSC01830In a bid to raise awareness of prostate cancer five local men from Burnham went head to head in a challenge to prove themselves the ultimate horseman on Sunday 10th August. Snowball Farm, Burnham, who hosted the battle have not only had an influx of new male riders into the saddle as a result, but also managed to smash their £4,000 fundraising target for Prostate Cancer UK by over a £1,000 (total £5,000.04)

Snowball Farm’s Centre Manager, Natalie Western-Kaye, and Matt Sobol, father of keen showjumper Rebecca, came up with the event idea with the aim to raise money for prostate cancer earlier this year, a cause that is close to both their hearts Natalie explained: “My father lost his battle to prostate cancer 3 years ago. Matt [Sobol] recognised his signs early and was diagnosed with prostate cancer in September 2011, and was given the clear in 2012 after an operation. We both wanted to raise awareness of the disease and the importance of getting checked early, and came up with the Old Fools on Horses format.”

The day saw the five men tackle a dressage test and course of showjumps, with Matt being crowned king of the dressage arena. Since their debut, all five men have continued their journey in the saddle and even inspired some of the husbands and fathers that are regular visitors to the centre to jump on the bandwagon and start horse riding.

Matt has set his sights high with the aim of competing at a British Showjumping competition in the near future. “My daughter Rebecca is a keen showjumper and I can’t wait to get out there and go competing with her. Despite a tumble in training, physically I feel fantastic. Not only have we managed to raise awareness of the cause, and encourage more men to get checked early for signs of prostate cancer, but we have also inspired more people to enjoy this brilliant sport.”

Natalie Western-Kaye is thrilled with the event’s turnout, and the inspirational effect it has had. “The event was amazing for us, and we are thrilled with the amount we have managed to raise for Prostate Cancer UK.  It turned into a fantastic day, despite the horrible weather, with around 400 spectators coming along to join in the fun.”

To find out more about how to get into horse riding at Snowball Farm please visit www.snowballfarm.co.uk or call 01628 666222, or to find a riding school near you go to www.hoofride.co.uk

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