A RACEHORSE has been named in honour of rugby league legend Rob Burrow who is currently battling MND, to raise money to fight the cruel disease.
Burrow Seven is a thoroughbred gedling with fine racing pedigree and is based out of stables in Leyburn, North Yorkshire.
As well as running under the Leeds Rhinos legend’s name and synonymous number, the horse is a unique fundraising campaign to support Rob’s charity Fight Back Fund, aimed at finding a cure for motor neurone disease.
And Rob got the chance to meet his namesake last week on a visit to the stables, visiting with his parents Irene and Geoff Burrow.
A father of three young children, Rob, 38, was diagnosed with motor neurone disease 12 months ago, and the cruel disease has had a devastating impact on him, robbing him of his ability to walk and talk.
But throughout his fight, Rob has stayed positive and has set up the Fight Back Fund to raise money to try and find a cure for the disease.
Co-ordinated in part by Rob’s good friend and ex-team-mate, and a pantomime villain many Bradford Bulls fans loved to hate, Barrie McDermott, the Burrow Seven Racing Club gives people the chance to own a racehorse.
Memberships will give people a stake in supporting the horse, with all profits from memberships going towards Rob’s Fight Back Fund for the MND Association.
Memberships cost £59, and can be bought by visiting the Burrow Seven website here.
After meeting Burrow Seven, Rob said: “I’m a bit overwhelmed.
“I’ve been excited about this fundraising campaign for some time but meeting this magnificent racehorse was something else.
“I’m really honoured to have him named after me and I can’t wait to see him in his first race.
“Thank you to everyone who supports the MND Association by taking part. Research is the key to cure this disease. Together we can do it.”
Barrie McDermott said: “It’s hard to come up with ideas for fundraising events in an era of COVID but we think we’ve hit upon something original, inclusive and exciting with Burrow Seven.
“Rob was a thoroughbred on the pitch. No one could match his speed. He was consistently a front runner for the match winning try and always a banker for man of the match!
“I’ve met this horse and can testify that it has the same fighting spirit as Rob. I’m proud to be involved in the Burrow seven fundraising campaign as an ambassador and we have high aspirations for how much money and awareness we can raise for Rob and the MND Association. Plus, we hope to have a lot of fun along the way. I can’t wait!”
Phil Hawthorne came up with the Burrow Seven idea, and he added: “Like so many of you, I have been really inspired by Rob’s battle with MND and I wanted to devise a covid-friendly way to honour Rob’s legacy on the pitch and his heroism in his battle with MND.”
Burrow Seven’s first race will be in early 2021 with his multiple Cheltenham Gold Cup winning trainer Henrietta Knight aiming to get Burrow Seven running at the Cheltenham Festival.
Jenn Dodd, regional fundraiser for MND Association in Yorkshire, Humberside and the North East said: “We have been overwhelmed by the support we have received inspired by Rob Burrow and to see initiatives like this now kicking off to continue that support is just incredible.
“The funds raised will make a real difference to the MND Association and to the 5,000 people across the country who, like Rob, are living with MND today. We’re so grateful and wish everyone well as they embark on this exciting venture.”
Membership of the Burrow Seven Racing Club ends on October 31, 2021, and throughout the year members will receive updates of his progress, details of races and other unique items.