The first Rockinghorse Ryder Cup rivals the real thing!

The very first Rockinghorse Ryder Cup, organised by two long-term Rockinghorse supporters, is a wonderful...

The very first Rockinghorse Ryder Cup, organised by two long-term Rockinghorse supporters, is a wonderful success.

You’ve all heard of the Ryder Cup, the biennial golf competition between Europe and the United States, but this year saw the inaugural Rockinghorse Ryder Cup. And whilst it may not have been quite so well publicised as its namesake, the competition was no less fierce!

The event was organised by two of our long-term supporters, Gavin Willis, founder of Search Seven, and Sam Thomas, Managing Director of Firmballs, and was aimed at bringing together two teams of golfers to have some fun and raise money for Rockinghorse.

So, over two days earlier this month, two teams of 16 players arrived at the East Sussex National resort in Uckfield ready for some high stakes play.

Sam ‘congratulating’ Gav on his win!

And despite 45mph winds on the first day, both the yellow and blue teams had a great time. Gavin said: “You couldn’t have written day one. When the scores came in from the groups, the momentum swings between the yellow and blue teams were crazy, but it ended 8 v 8 on points which was brilliant, setting it up nicely for the final day.

“In the captain’s match up, I got the better of Sam to get the first yellow point up on the board for team yellow, and there were some incredible match ups in the other groups, with one pairing shaking hands on the 18th tee to call it a draw rather than competing the final hole.”

After the first day the teams enjoyed a lovely evening meal, accompanied by Donna Holland and Janella Merritt from Rockinghorse who came along to support the event and thank all the players for taking part.

During the evening players were also able to take part in a raffle to win some great prizes including afternoon tea at the Ivy, dinner for two at Malmaison and tickets for Brighton and Hove Albion’s final home match of the season.

There was also an auction to win a year’s pass to Lingfield Park Racecourse, scooped up by Paige Collins, the events main sponsor. Paige said: Sometimes being involved in a charity event becomes an inspiration and when I was asked by Sam whether Warren House Accountants (WHA) would be the sponsor of the two-day Ryder Cup style event, I had no hesitation in saying yes, and what a great event it was.

The winning team with Gavin holding the trophy

Organising a one-day event is a challenge but over two days, well! But such is the generosity of Gav and Sam’s connections that 32 players signed up to play over two days. We were all so pleased when they counted the money raised and it came to some £3,500 for the event! And what a great start to Sam’s challenge of raising £10,000 for Rockinghorse.

“A big thank you to Sam and Gav and everyone that took part to help raise such a wonderful amount for the Rockinghorse Children’s Charity. We are all now looking forward to 2023.”  

And after another tense day on the course, and despite it continuing to be a close run between the two teams, the final winners were the yellow team, headed up by Gavin.

Gavin said: “The inaugural Rockinghorse Ryder Cup event was a great success. We went over our target on players and on what we hoped to raise, so I am absolutely delighted. It was a great two days, and always a real privilege to be able to team up with Sam and support Rockinghorse Children’s Charity, which is so close to us both.

We’re both feeling very proud to put on this event and for it to go so well and we’re already looking forward to doing it all again next year!”

Perhaps you might like to organise your own golf day in support of Rockinghorse? We have all the information you need, just click here to find out more.