Dressage rider and trainer Lili Brooksby-Dalby has raised more than £7,000 for international horse and donkey charity Brooke ahead of next month’s London Marathon (3 October) after organising two online dressage competitions.

Lili, 35, who runs Brooksby Dressage in Barrow upon Soar, Leicestershire, asked her social media followers to send in videos of themselves performing tests for her to judge, alongside a donation to her marathon target.

“People all over submitted their tests and I judged them,” said Lili. “I’m incredibly fortunate so many of my friends rallied around and donated prizes, sponsored rosettes and trophies — their kindness has been nothing short of an inspiration to keep pushing the miles as I was a totally unfit, sport allergic, lazy fitness person prior to this.”

Lili is running the marathon alongside her friend Hannah Doyle, whom she credits with giving her the motivation to take part.

“She’s been great for me, when I first started running in December she wanted to get some runs in with me before I gave up,” said Lili. “Hannah helped me through my first 10k and we have done all our long runs together. I find running with her so much easier than when alone.”

This year’s London marathon has been a long time coming, after last year’s event was postponed and then cancelled due to Covid-19, but Lili and Hannah have made it work.

“As we are outside, we have always felt pretty safe to meet up and support one another,” added Lili.

Money raised by Lili and Hannah will go towards Brooke’s work around the world, helping working horses, donkeys and mules and their owners.

“I wanted to support a legitimate equine charity who focuses on educating the next generation as well as helping current issues,” said Lili.

“I also said I didn’t have a marathon in me — and I like to prove myself wrong.”

Donate to Lili and Hannah’s fundraising at justgiving.com/fundraising/lilhan

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