THE Jack Dodd Foundation, set up by the late Mayo rider’s parents David and Trish, is in the running for an FEI Solidarity Award. Also nominated in the Longines FEI Rising Star category is Ireland’s Max Wachman, trained by Cian O’Connor.
Last year’s solidarity award winner was Alex Hua Tian and The Horsemanship Charity Programme, a Chinese-based initiative which involved 200 migrant children. Another 2018 winner was “Groom of the Year”, Portmarnock native Lee McKeever, who works for McLain Ward, (a nominee in this year’s Against All Odds category).
“Max Wachman is up for an award [Longines FEI Rising Star] too. And just look at the brilliant results by the young Irish lads in Lanaken last weekend,” said Trish.
She, together with husband David, Denise Wilson and “the unreal, whirlwind phenomenon” Andrea Drakulic set up the Jack Dodd Foundation after the Foxford couple lost their popular son in a car accident in Belgium in June 2018.
“These things can happen in a flash and the whole aim of the foundation was to build on the community spirit and the support we got. This nomination keeps the foundation in the spotlight. We’ve got it up and running with a fund in place, been vetted by lawyers and accountants and we’ve got a lawyer in America, so we can function as a charity there too.”
One of the foundation’s aims is to fundraise for three charities that tie in with Jack’s story; the Showjumper’s Club Injured Riders Club, the Brain Battle Fund in Maastricht and Irish Kidney Foundation. Several of Jack’s organs were donated after he passed away in the Maastricht hospital, where the Brain Battle Fund is based. “It was very good and very healing for us to do that,” said Trish.
Another development is a database and confidential helpline to advise young Irish people working abroad in the horse industry. The Dodds are immensely grateful for all the support, from a fundraising auction at the Irish Show Jumping Awards right up to Horse Sport Ireland nominating the foundation for this award.
Another Irish connection is Tim Varlec, groom to Irish international para dressage rider Tamsin Addison, who is nominated for the Cavalor FEI Best Groom award.
Voting closes next Monday, October 7th.