FEI and Reem Acra Give Christmas Treat to Children from Inner City London Horse Charity

Laura Bechtolsheimer (centre) and Shetland pony foal Minty with members of the Ebony Horse Club from Brixton during the Reem Acra FEI World Cup Dressage qualifier, with Lisa Wells (far right), Reem Acra, Director of Special Events and Sponsorships (Photo: Phil Mingo/FEI)

London, 15 December 2010 – A group of children from one of London’s most disadvantaged boroughs got an early Christmas treat today (Wednesday 15 December), when they were invited by Hollywood fashion designer, Reem Acra, and the governing body for horse sport, the FEI, to attend one of the sport’s premier events in London.

The London International Horse Show at Olympia, venue for the Reem Acra FEI World Cup Dressage, is one of the most glamorous events on the FEI calendar and is attended by members of the British Royal family and other high profile celebrities.

Today, children from the Ebony Horse Club charity got a chance to experience some of that glamour – from one of the best seats in the house.

International fashion designer Reem Acra, new sponsor of the FEI World Cup Dressage, invited the children to experience the magic of world-class Dressage whilst enjoying dinner in the sponsor’s hospitality suite.

The group also met one of the UK’s leading Dressage riders Laura Bechtolsheimer, who recently won three silver medals at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games in Kentucky.

“Coming here tonight is the best Christmas present ever,” said 15-year-old, Ronny Jacome. “I felt like royalty for the night and feel really privileged to have met Laura (Bechtolsheimer) who was so encouraging to us.”

Reem Acra added: ”We were delighted to be able to give these children a wonderful experience like this, especially in the lead-up to Christmas. The work that Ebony Horse Club does is truly inspirational and we were pleased that we could support them in some small way.”

Earlier this month, the Ebony Horse Club won the FEI’s prestigious Alltech Development Award at the Federation’s General Assembly in Taipei. The charity aims to improve the life skills, education and aspirations of children and young people growing up in deprived communities in Brixton, South London by encouraging them to take part in horse sport.

Audio links: Ros Spearinghttp://www.lloydbell.co.uk/access/client_zone/OLY_Ros_spearing.mp3
Ronny Jacomehttp://www.lloydbell.co.uk/access/client_zone/OLY_Jacome.mp3

About Reem Acra

Reem Acra has dressed global icons of style for weddings, red carpet appearances and awards ceremonies. Her clients include Angelina Jolie, Halle Berry, Beyonce Knowles, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Eva Longoria. Her ready-to-wear and bridal collections are carried by 150 of the world’s most exclusive retailers.

About Ebony Horse Club

The Ebony Horse Club was founded in 1996 by Ros Spearing, who is director of the Club. As a resident on a Brixton estate, she witnessed first-hand the youth crime, lack of activities and negative challenges faced by local children. As a horse-lover and rider, Spearing was aware of the benefits riding could bring to the children and raised funds to start a riding programme. Some 50 children are currently members of the Club, which became a registered charity in 2006 and is presided over by HRH the Duchess of Cornwall. The Ebony Horse Club is close to its goal of raising sufficient funds to build a community riding centre in Brixton.

Media Contacts:

Grania Willis
FEI Director of Press Relations
Tel: +41 787 506 142
Email: grania.willis@fei.org

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