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59-year-old occasion rider elevating consciousness of motor neurone illness


  • A retired firefighter who began driving seven years in the past is combining his ardour for eventing and fundraising, as he raises consciousness about motor neurone illness (MND) and Alzheimer’s.

    Lancashire-based Dave Farrington, who turns 60 in January, grew to become conscious of MND when he noticed a BBC documentary about 40-year-old former Leeds Rhinos rugby participant Rob Burrow, who was recognized with the situation in 2019. MND is a quickly progressing illness that impacts the nerves within the mind and spinal wire. It impacts round 5,000 adults within the UK at anyone time, and there may be presently no treatment. A lot-loved Scottish rugby participant Doddie Weir died from MND on 26 November, having been recognized in 2017.

    “Watching the documentary actually introduced it to the forefront. With MND it’s not simply the individual with the illness that’s affected, it’s their household too,” Dave informed H&H.

    “My 94-year-old mum Iris has Alzheimer’s, and as they’re each neurological situations, listening to about Rob simply rang bells with me and made me wish to do one thing to assist. I don’t suppose I understood earlier than simply how brutal MND was till watching the documentary. Rob is barely 40 and needs to be having fun with his life.”

    Dave plans to mix his love of eventing along with his ardour for fundraising by elevating cash and consciousness for MND and Alzheimer’s all through the 2023 eventing season along with his 17.1hh gelding Greystones Beautiful George. As a part of his consciousness marketing campaign he has had his horsebox wrapped in vinyl, picturing Rob Burrows on one facet, and Iris on the opposite.

    Dave has raised greater than £1,800 for the Motor Neurone Illness Affiliation thus far, and donations will be made through his Simply Giving web page.

    “The hope is to do occasions across the nation subsequent 12 months and I hope to get some well-known riders concerned too. Ben Hobday and Alex Hua Tian have already mentioned they’ll do what they’ll to assist the marketing campaign. I plan to do some podcasts and get individuals speaking about MND. The hope is at some point there shall be a treatment, nevertheless it’s concerning the analysis. You want cash for analysis, and this is the reason the charity wants donations.”

    Dave, who served as a firefighter in Manchester for 26 years and retired virtually 5 years in the past, began driving aged 52, in 2015.

    “We weren’t a horsey household, however my youngest daughter Rachel had classes as a baby. I ended up shopping for a thoroughbred named Archie, who Rachel later rode. I then purchased an Irish sports activities horse known as Oscar and thought I’d finest get some classes,” mentioned Dave.

    “I purchased George 15 months in the past and we’re actually increase a rapport collectively now and have had some good double clears at unaffiliated occasions this 12 months. I’ve discovered my ardour in eventing. I’ve had motorbikes prior to now, however nothing compares to 1 horsepower, no brakes and a mind, I find it irresistible! I can put up with the dressage, I’ve had some falls within the showjumping, however I’m obsessive about the cross-country.”

    Dave pictured on George

    Alongside his campaigning, Dave hopes to maintain constructing his relationship with George with the objective of the Badminton Grassroots Championships in 2024.

    “I’d like to do it. If we made it to Badminton I’d die a cheerful man,” he mentioned.

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