Friday, January 24, 2014

A new FEI ride at Downpatrick, Northern Ireland with support for Young Riders

20th January 2014
The support comes in the form of a number of £250 bursaries to help with travel costs and is available to a limited number of Young Riders entering either the International CEI YR 2* or 1* classes

GB Young Riders Travel Bursary Announced.

British entrepreneur Andy Thorne and his wife, Nicki Gilbert, who is an FEI 3* Endurance Rider have very kindly agreed to support a number of up and coming young Endurance Riders to assist them to attend the St. Patrick's Coast (FEI) Ride being run in Ireland on 26th April 2014.

The support comes in the form of a number of £250 bursaries to help with travel costs and is available to a limited number of Young Riders entering either the International CEI YR 2* or 1* classes at the St. Patrick's Coast Ride. Applicants should be in full time education and be current members of Endurance GB or an affiliate organisation and be eligible to ride for Great Britain.

Speaking from her home in Norfolk, Nicki Gilbert said, "We are delighted to help with travel costs. Our Corporate and Social responsibilities are important to us and being able to help the younger competitors compete abroad is a great way to support the future of our sport." Andy Thorne went on to say, "With a reduction in other funding channels we felt this was a great way to help both British Young Riders and what promises to be a great new FEI event on our doorstep in Northern Ireland. The experience in travelling to and competing overseas is invaluable to our Young Riders, preparing them well in their quest to represent their country at major Young Rider, and in the future, Senior events." David Cunningham, St. Patrick's Coast Ride organiser, said, "We are delighted with the support from Nicki, Andy and Kestrel Liner Agencies. Getting a new event of this standard up and running is a major task and we trust this travel bursary will make a huge difference to those Young Riders looking for international experience and that it will encourage them to travel." Nikki Boud, from the organising committee said "Encouraging Young Riders and creating a pathway for those in Ireland is one of the key reasons we are organising this major ride and the support from Kestrel facilitating GB Young Riders to also compete means a lot to us as it will ensure that Young Irish Riders are up against stiff competition whilst also offering GB Young Riders a truly international experience."

The ride takes place at Downpatrick Racecourse, Co Down on Saturday 26th April 2014. Details can be found at

Andy left school at 16 with no qualifications and went into the Shipping business. In 1994 he opened his first Company, and rapidly became the fastest growing Liner Agency business in the UK. In 2010 his efforts and those of his colleagues were recognised when they were named in The Queen's birthday honours list for services to International trade, receiving the coveted "Queens Award for Enterprise International Trade."

In 2011 he was named as one of 10 finalists for Entrepreneur of The Year in The UK National Business Awards and named by Lloyds of London as one of the "Top 100" people in Global shipping today.

Through their charity Kisses from Kestrel Andy and his wife Nicki donate a significant amount of their annual income to charitable and good causes. More information can be found at

Endurance GB is the national governing body of long distance horse riding within the Great Britain and more information can be found on their web site at

Full eligibility details and details on how to apply for the Travel Bursary will be available from the web site soon.
Alternatively contact the organisers on from more information.

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