5-8 September 2024

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Defender Burghley Horse Trials Announces My Name'5 Doddie Foundation as its Charity of the Year

Defender Burghley Horse Trials is delighted to reveal that the event’s charity partner for 2024 is My Name’5 Doddie Foundation, which was launched by Scotland rugby player Doddie Weir to fight motor neuron disease (MND).

Wednesday, April 03, 2024 - 14:10
Doddie weir

Doddie, who died from MND in November 2022, made 61 international appearances for Scotland on the rugby pitch, but in his youth he was a keen rider and competed in eventing on the Scottish circuit, including at the Scottish Novice Championships held at Thirlestane Castle. He remained interested in horses throughout his life.

In an interview with the Scottish Field in 2017, Doddie said: “I’d say most of my rugby skills came from my time with the horses: I had a decent core which allowed me to get plenty height in the air and manoeuvre during line-outs, and the ability to see ahead when correcting a stride or making a turn mid-air transferred to line-outs too,” he explained. “But the bigger picture was learning line-out calls and when you’re used to learning showjumping courses and dressage tests, this was a big influence.”

Paul Thompson, Director of Fundraising and Communications at My Name'5 Doddie Foundation said: “We are incredibly excited to be named as a charity partner of the Defender Burghley Horse Trials. To be associated with such a prestigious event means a great deal to My Name’5 Doddie Foundation and this will make an important impact on our ability to invest in vital motor neuron disease research.

“Our founder, Doddie Weir, loved his horses and riding was one of his favourite pastimes - although at 6ft 6in, it had to be a big enough horse! This partnership is therefore especially meaningful to both the Weir family and My Name’5 Doddie Foundation and ‘excited for it to get underway.”

The charity’s plans during Defender Burghley (5-8 September 2024) include a very special tug-of-war competition in Burghley’s Main Arena, featuring rugby players and event riders.

Burghley’s Event Director, Martyn Johnson, said: “The partnership between Burghley and My Name’5 Doddie is fantastic news and we hope to help this very worthy charity, which funds, guides and enables the best research to find a cure for motor neuron disease, raise both awareness and funds.

“The celebrity tug of war, ‘Pulling Together For MND’, should be great fun for our weekend spectators and be a real spectacle ahead of the main event cross-country on Saturday morning.’’

Tickets for Defender Burghley members go on sale on 25 April, while the box office opens for general admission the following day, 26 April. Purchasers will have the option to add a small donation to My Name’5 Doddie Foundation when they buy their tickets: www.burghley-horse.co.uk.


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