Jonty Evans reaches crowdfunding target and secures his horse Art

Irish rider Jonty Evans had hit his crowdfunding target to secure his Olympic ride, Cooley Rorkes Drift.

In a time-pressured situation, where Jonty needed the horse’s ownership secured to be able to go to the European Championships with the Irish team, the public pulled through to ensure Cooley Rorkes Drift, known at home as Art, has a forever future with Evans.

Evans set up the crowdfunding campaign with the aim of raising £500,000 to buy Art, the horse that he finished in 9th place with, and best-of-the-Irish team, at the Rio Olympics.

Contributing to the crowdfunding was an online auction with various lots donated to the cause.

With two large donations of £150,000 and £100,000, the rest of the money was generated from the public who generously backed the cause.

Competing in two classes at the international horse trials competition, Jonty was at Hartpury when the news of the crowdfunding success hit the headlines.

He said: “I feel overwhelmed by people’s support. I was riding in the young horse class at Hartpury today and so many people were wanting to say congratulations.

“There are other riders here who I know put money in and I’m hugely grateful. It’s just an amazing feeling to know that Art is at home and staying there."

"The next few days at Hartpury – I’m riding a horse called Clara M in the two-star. She’s a good horse and she could go well so I need to focus on her now and get the next job done.”

Evans now hopes to compete in the European championships and has stated that Art will not be sold in the future.