Appeal for Hobby Horse riders to take part in DCG fundraiser for brave ex-student (27th May)

Published on: Wednesday, 1st May 2024
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Derby College Group (DCG) is staging a Hobby Horse Charity Event at Broomfield Hall for Libby Dodes, an ex-equine student who has a rare form of cancer. The light-hearted event is open to all and no real horses are needed!

22 year-old Libby from Derby is in need of life-saving treatment and it is hoped that this event on the Bank Holiday Monday on the 27th of May, will help with raising a considerable amount towards Libby's cause.

Everyone is encouraged to attend, teams can be from work, pony clubs, young farmers, neighbourhoods and anyone who would like to have a fun day out and help raise much-needed funds.

In October 2023, after a fall from her horse, doctors carried out a CT scan and found that Libby had a large mass, a 23cm tumour in her abdomen. However, this was deemed inoperable. Libby then received her diagnosis, that she had a rare and aggressive form of cancer, small cell ovarian cancer. 

Mum Vanessa said: "They told us Libby was going to die over the weekend. It was absolutely awful. It was the worst day of my life." But Libby pulled through and Vanessa managed to get Libby transferred to Nottingham City Hospital where she was put on chemotherapy in December 2023 to shrink the tumour."

"Her continued treatment is extensive, including chemotherapy, followed by surgery, followed by radiotherapy and finally immunotherapy. The funding is needed for immunotherapy as this isn’t current provided by the NHS. In total the treatment will cost in excess of £250,000.

She is a phenomenal jockey and lives for her horses, dogs and cats, so much that she is a student veterinary nurse and absolutely loves her job."

Libby has a long hard road ahead, but she is a real fighter and she loves to prove people wrong, and will carry on fighting, and it is this spirit that has inspired the Equine team at Broomfield to run a one day, fun team hobby horse event for the public.

Sally Foskett, Equine Centre Manager at DCG and organiser of the charity event commented: “We want to do everything we can for Libby. She is such a lovely and caring person and has an incredible spirit and we would like to raise as much money as possible.

“We wanted the event to be inclusive as possible, so we decided to stage a fun hobby horse event, as this is a growing trend. And for this you don’t need a horse to be part of it. We want to  encourage as many people as possible to take part.”

There has been already been a high level of interest in the event with the RAF, the army and other profile riders entering teams.

Team members will carry out dressage, show jumping and then all will do a relay around the cross country course. And there will be prizes for the Best Hobby Horse.

The quirky event will end with a big picnic in the field.

Entrants will need a team of four consisting of two dressage riders and two show jumping riders, and if you don’t have a hobby horse, a broom can be used!

To enter email sally.foskett @ with the following: team name, riders and hobby horse names and proof that £40 has been paid into Libby’s GoFundMe account.

Entry fees and donations can be paid in via this link.

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