Generous customers at a Morpeth store have helped to raise £500 to help put a disabled horsewoman on the road to success.
Rutherfords rode to the rescue of Gayle Bloomfield to help her bid for glory in 2017 by hosting a special fund-raising event in association with cosmetics brand Clarins at Barluga in Morpeth.
The store donated £5 from every ticket sold to help Gayle achieve her competition dreams with horse Lucca.
Managing director Richard Rutherford chipped in with a generous donation to round up the figure to £500 for the mum-of-two from Seahouses, who hasn’t allowed multiple sclerosis hold her back from becoming a top rider.
She is hoping to be selected for the Great Britain Para Dressage team next summer, but without sponsorship, she struggles to fund competing at top level as it costs her £15,000 a year for entry fees, insurance, feed, veterinary bills and travel expenses.
She had to pull out of competitions last summer due to the cost.
The donation from Rutherfords will help her go to qualifying competitions for the Summer Para Dressage Championships.
Gayle said: “It is difficult competing against the best riders when you are constantly worrying about money, and this gesture from Rutherfords will be a big help.
“It is a wonderful gesture by the store and I hope I can repay them by securing a place at the Summer Para Dressage Championships.”
Richard Rutherford said: “Gayle is an inspiration to many people because she hasn’t allowed disability hold her back.
“We hope the donation will help her to fulfil some of her ambitions for 2017 and she will put Northumberland and para dressage on the map.
“Our customers were keen to support a great cause and really got behind the event.”
Gayle is based at the Pegasus Centre, the home of Morpeth Riding for the Disabled Association.