A two-day equestrian event held in honour of Alice Smith has raised over £5,600 for the all-Wales Charity. 
 
The 31-year-old pharmaceutical technician, who worked at Morriston Hospital, Swansea, sadly passed away in March this year whilst out cycling. Alice had been training for a triathlon event when she was hit by a car between Hendy and Llanon in Carmarthenshire. 
 
As a tribute to the ‘much loved’ member of the equestrian community, Little Mill Equestrian and British Dressage Wales held an event in Alice’s memory at the Welsh Dressage Championships, on Saturday 22 and Sunday 23 June. 


 
Susanne Williams, the owner of Little Mill Equestrian, said: “Alice was such a loved and respected member, we wanted to celebrate her life and accomplishments. The Welsh Dressage Championships provided the perfect opportunity for us to do this. 
 
“Alice competed at our venue in the British Dressage regional finals in February. It was probably one of her last competitions here. 
 
“It has been so special to work as a team to turn this event into a fundraiser in aid of a cause close to Alice’s parents’ hearts.” 
 
The Wales Air Ambulance Charity is consultant-led, taking hospital-standard treatments to the patient and if required, transferring them directly to the most appropriate hospital for their illness or injury.  It is delivered via a unique Third Sector and Public Sector partnership. The Emergency Medical Retrieval and Transfer Service (EMRTS) supplies highly skilled NHS consultants and critical care practitioners who work on board the charity’s vehicles. 
The event was supported by hundreds of people, including Alice’s colleagues and managers who work on Swansea Bay University Health Board.
 
Susanne continued: “It was the biggest event we've ever run, and we wanted to open this up to professional and junior riders. So affiliated and non-affiliated members were able to take part and it attracted non-horsey types too, enabling us to raise as much money as we could. 
 
“We’ve never seen that many cars at the gate before. My husband charged for parking, and it all went in the fundraising pot for the Wales Air Ambulance Charity.” 
 
Alice, who was ‘incredibly talented and dedicated’, had qualified to compete in a big championship earlier this year on her horse, Tess. Sadly, after suffering fatal injuries, Alice was unable to achieve her dream. 
 
Her horse, Tess, is now being ridden by Brendan Tegg, who went on to win the event. 


 
Susanne continued: “It was an emotional moment when Alice’s horse, Tess, won the event. She is now ridden by Brendan Tegg, one of the most accomplished dressage riders in our area. 
 
 “British Dressage have provided incredible support too, giving Tess lifetime membership. As a rider you must be a member yourself for your horse to be a member. So British Dressage donated her lifetime membership, in honour of Alice, so she can compete at any time.” 
 
The Welsh Dressage Championship was sponsored by Voltaire and supported by other equestrian brands including Shiral Equestrian and Bridle Boutique. Gwaith Llaw Gan were among the local businesses who donated auction items. Alice’s family members also baked cakes and sold them on the day to help raise money. 
 
Alice’s friend, Briony Cutler is a British Dressage Wales committee member and helped organise the event.  
 
She said: “It was an incredible weekend and truly heartwarming; you could see how much the tribute meant to Alice’s parents, Ian and Valerie; they were so proud. 
 
“I have got so much respect for them; on the day they walked around talking with people and watched their daughter’s horse compete and win.” 
 
“We really wanted to stage this event in memory of her, it was something we wanted to make happen, and we’re so glad that it was so successful. We want to thank British Dressage Wales for allowing Little Mill Equestrian to run the Welsh Dressage Championships this year as part of our fundraiser.” 


The Wales Air Ambulance needs to raise £11.2 million each year to keep its helicopters in the sky and its rapid response vehicles on the road. 
Briony added: “We know how much the Charity must raise each year! It’s such a large amount and we wanted to do our bit to help. I know the horse-riding community is very grateful to know that the air ambulance is there should the need arise.” 
 
In the buildup to the main event, Briony also organised an online Facebook auction. Between both events, over £5,600 has been raised for the pan-Wales service. 
Mark Stevens, Head of Fundraising at Wales Air Ambulance, said: “Our thoughts are with Alice’s family and friends at such a difficult time. She was a gifted dressage rider, who was clearly loved and respected by the whole equestrian community. 
“It was so moving to learn that Alice’s horse, Tess, won the Welsh Dressage Championship. Her legacy lives on, both on and off the field. 


“We are incredibly grateful to British Dressage Wales and Little Mill Equestrian for their dedication to this fundraiser and would like to thank all those who supported the event and gave so generously to our charity.”