One of the barriers to furthering your competitive career as a Para Equestrian rider can be a lack of funds. Competing to a high level in dressage is very very expensive, and unless your parents are millionaires you're going to have to find some way of supporting yourself in your chosen sport.

Here are a few ideas to help you raise funds. These may seem very 'low key' but if you can organise a range of different events and fundraising ideas, it all adds up!

Top 10 Fundraising Tips

1. Hold a Bring and Buy sale. This can be a great opportunity to get rid of all that old tack and all your old horse rugs. Invite all your horsey friends and have someone with the gift of the gab running the stall to get people buying and haggling.


2. Run a raffle at every event you organise. People are always happy to donate prizes - anything from a box of chocolates to a bottle of wine can be greatly appreciated by the winners.


3. Sell homemade cakes or biscuits. Who can resist home cooking? My friend Mandy Schofield who is a visually impaired rider, bakes biscuits to help fund her passion for riding - and they are very tasty biscuits! Jam and marmalade are also very popular.


4. Organise a dressage show. Entry fees can be anything from £6-£10 and maybe you could persuade an equestrian centre to lend their facilities for free. You can fit 7-8 tests in an hour so a full day of dressage should bring in over £400 before expenses. Include some para equestrian classes as well as British Dressage tests so that all riders can come and join in.


5. Approach local companies for sponsorship. I have had good support from local companies who are keen to put something back into the local community. Try and find a link between the company and what you are fundraising for example an estate agent selling Spanish properties helped fund my trip to Madrid in 2004.

Manning Stainton Spain


6. Organise a sponsored walk, ride or bike ride. A sponsored walk will be easiest as you can get tied up with red tape and 'Health and Safety' issues when organising a horsey event.


7. Sell hanging baskets and window boxes. If you sow your own seeds - such as pansies - and buy your baskets and pots from a wholesale outlet you can make a good profit on each pot or basket you sell.

Hanging baskets


8. Have a coffee morning or wine and cheese party. Invite all your friends and ask them to bring a friend. Charge a small fee for refreshments and of course, hold a raffle with donated prizes. If you can put on a dressage display at the same time, you will attar ct more people and be able to charge a bit more on the door.


9. Go to a car boot sale. Clear out all your unwanted clutter and junk (including all your old horsey gear). Car boot sales usually entail an early start to make sure you get a good pitch, but for the sake of a £5-£10 entry fee you could easily make £100.


10. Persuade someone to run the London Marathon or the Great North Run and collect sponsor money towards your dressage fund - you'll probably have to rely on a family member or good friend to do this for you!


If you're serious about competing at top level, you will need to work just as hard on your fundraising as you will on your riding. Some grants are available through SportsAid and TASS scholarships and bursaries are available to young sports people who are also studying

Visit UK Fundraising for more ideas.


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