Friday, January 16, 2009

Spinal Research launches the Stand and Be Counted appeal

Leading international charity Spinal Research is delighted to announce the launch of a new awareness appeal titled ‘Stand and Be Counted’. Fronting the appeal is top event rider Claire Lomas who was tragically paralysed following a fall at the Osberton Horse Trials in 2007. The appeal is to raise awareness of the risk of spinal injury in horse riding; to highlight the importance of the work the charity is doing and how people can raise funds or make donations.
The BEF (British Equestrian Federation) and a number of Britain’s top riders from all disciplines have pledged their support to Spinal Research and the launch of this appeal. Several of the riders have experienced falls resulting in serious injury so understand first hand the importance of the charity’s ground breaking research. The ultimate aim is to get people like Claire walking again and back on their horses, whilst along the way providing those suffering spinal cord injury with hope for the future. To mark this fantastic pledge, Spinal Research has produced an amazing photographic image for the Stand and Be Counted campaign featuring the supporting riders including Mary King, Ellen Whitaker, Ben Maher, Ginny Elliot MBE and Andrew Gould.Over 800 people a year are paralysed in the UK and too many of these are from horse riding accidents. Paralysis does not only mean being unable to walk, but depending on the part of the spinal cord that is injured it can cause loss of movement in arms and hands, the inability to breathe on your own and perhaps the worst of all, the loss of independence. Isabel Robinson, Specialist Fundraiser at Spinal Research said “We are so thankful to all the professional riders that are supporting us. Horse riding is such great fun but it also carries a massive risk factor. We are asking the equestrian community to support us in raising money by running an event or show, or by making a donation. This will help us to continue with our vitally important research, and one day I hope we will find a cure for paralysis and enable people to have their independence back.” Ginny Elliot MBE is Spinal Research’s patron, she commented “ I am incredibly passionate about this charity; spinal cord injury could happen to any one of us who sits on a horse, it is not only confined to three day eventing, many accidents happen whilst schooling or out hacking and I am keen to raise awareness across the entire equestrian community”. For further information on donating or organising an event please contact Isabel on 01483 898786 or e-mail