Eventing legend Jane Holderness-Roddam CBE had a successful completion of her first one-day-event in 13 years last week.
The Olympic gold medalist returned to the competition arena to raise money for equine charities the Brooke and World Horse Welfare in an event at West Wilts Equestrian Centre on August 18.
Riding her 20-year-old eventer Tiger’s Eye II – stable name Bill – Holderness-Roddam jumped double clear in the BE100open, adding 12.8 cross-country time faults to their leading dressage score of 23.8. They finished in 17th place, but more importantly, raised £10,000 for the Brooke and World Horse Welfare.
Her aim had been to raise £8700 for the two charities, a figure which alluded to her and Bill’s combined age of 87.
Holderness-Roddam, 67, was thrilled to be back competing. “I was a little nervous beforehand, but it felt great to be competing. I thoroughly enjoyed it and I think Bill did too.
“I’m really pleased with how much we’ve raised and it’s wonderful to be able to give something back to these animals by supporting the Brooke and World Horse Welfare, two charities that I am so proud to be involved with.”
The pair’s stellar performance earned praise from top eventers William Fox-Pitt and Pippa Funnell who both took inspiration from Jane when starting their careers in the eventing world and took time out from competing their own horses at the event to cheer her on.
Holderness-Roddam was the first woman to represent Britain in Olympic Eventing, winning team gold in Mexico, 1968. She went on to build a highly successful career in equestrianism. Nicknamed the ‘galloping nurse’ because she managed to study nursing at the same time, Holderness-Roddam won at the Badminton Horse Trials in 1968 and 1978, and Burghley Horse Trials in 1976.
Tiger’s Eye II has had an illustrious career himself, competing in more than 120 events, 31 of them international. Owned by Timothy Holderness-Roddam and Jane Holderness-Roddam, he has had several riders throughout his career, including South African eventer Alex Peternell.
World Horse Welfare Deputy Chief Executive Tony Tyler said the charity was grateful for the support. “Jane is already renowned for her many extraordinary contributions to the horse world, but she exceeded herself to demonstrate her support for improving horse welfare in the UK and around the world.
“We are immensely grateful to Jane and Bill for taking on this challenge for World Horse Welfare and the Brooke, and to all who so generously donated in support.”
The Brooke chief executive Petra Ingram said it had been inspirational watching Holderness-Roddam in action.
“I was honoured to watch Jane participate in this event, she is a truly inspirational lady, coming back to compete after a retirement of more than 13 years. Together with Bill they made it look easy and her love for horses was so evident as she guided him through each phase.
“She has managed to raise a considerable amount of money for the Brooke and World Horse Welfare. Her hard work will mean we can help even more working horses, donkeys and mules, and benefit the people whose lives depend on them. Thank you Jane!”