The Para Equestrian Foundation, a new non-profit community interest company dedicated to supporting para riders, is delighted to share the details of its Unicorn Campaign. This fundraising drive aims to raise the funds needed to buy 2 very special horses for its beneficiaries to ride. As well as supporting their purchase, the foundation hopes to raise enough money to fully fund the care and competition expenses of the 2 horses for 12 months.  

The Para Equestrian Foundation is the brainchild of Di Green, international para dressage athlete

The Para Equestrian Foundation is the brainchild of founder and director of operations Di Green. Di is an International 3* Grade 1 Para Dressage athlete who is a member of the World Class Podium Potential Squad. The foundation has been set up to support gifted athletes taking part in all the para equestrian sports – driving, vaulting, showjumping, reining and dressage – no matter what their goals are. The Unicorn Campaign will allow the foundation offer competition and training rides to gifted athletes who lack the resources to fund their own horse. The Para Equestrian Foundation Unicorn Campaign aims to fund the purchase and care expenses for 2 horses.

The high cost of competing as a para athlete can be prohibitive

Di was inspired to act after discovering first-hand how expensive it is to compete as a para athlete. Di returned to the saddle in 2013 after a 15-year break from riding following a horse-related head injury. After using the amazing services of the Coates Riding for the Disabled Association (RDA) near Cirencester, Di caught the competition bug. A discussion with a fellow para athlete opened her eyes to the costs involved in competing, which can be as high as £50,000 a year for those at international level. Thankfully, Di found the support team she needed, including her talented coach Holly Norris. Di is now on the pathway to the Paralympic Games of Tokyo 2021. Now, with the launch of the Para Equestrian Foundation, she’s on a mission to help others. 

the para equestrian foundation

Di comments:

“I am so proud to be able to bring the Para Equestrian Foundation from concept to reality. I know from personal experience how transformative it is to be able to get in the saddle. Sadly, the cost of riding as a para athlete can be completely prohibitive for some. The Foundation relies on donations, partnerships and volunteers to be able to deliver the support to para athletes. I hope the news of our launch will inspire others to support our cause!”

How to support the Unicorn Campaign

Those wishing to donate £5 to the Unicorn Campaign simply text Unicorn to 70460. To donate a different amount, simply add the sum you wish to donate after ‘Unicorn’. For example text Unicorn10 to donate £10.00 or enter Unicorn20 to donate £20.00. Supporters can also support the work of the foundation by purchasing items from their clothing collection. This includes a t-shirt, cosy hoodie and smart jacket, all featuring the organisation’s branding. Just visit https://www.paraequestrianfoundation.org/shop to take a look!

Notes to Editors

The Para Equestrian Foundation was founded by para athlete Di Green in 2020 and operates as a not for profit CIC. The foundation aims to provide their athletes with: 

  • Scholarships for those who need extra financial support, for everything from adapted saddles to training and competition fees.
  • Educational residential and day clinics (held regionally) offering access to coaching, mindset advice, veterinary advice, horse and rider osteopathy and sports massage, farriery advice and tack fitting. 
  • Mentoring programmes, particularly important for riders who are not from a horsey family.
  • The chance to access a foundation loan horse (from the ‘Unicorn Campaign!) and advice on sourcing suitable horses. 

The team at the Para Equestrian Foundation know that all para riders need different types of support. The team are aiming to provide a framework that any para equestrian athlete could access. The scholarship programmes have 6 spaces and are open for applications every 6 months. The first cohort started training and development back in June 2020. One rider is based with Di and the Para Equestrian Foundation team, benefitting from being able to tap into their expertise daily.

Learn more on the Para Equestrian Foundation’s website and follow the organisation on social media for the latest news. https://www.paraequestrianfoundation.org/about