The first ever Queenstown auction event hosted by The CatWalk Trust has raised over $350,000, helping to fund pioneering research into treatment for spinal cord injuries.

The charity auction was held at AJ Hackett Kawarau Bridge Bungy Centre on Saturday 25 April and included a range of desirable and exclusive experiences and items. The major prize of the night was lot 16, which took the top bid of $100,000 for a service fee to international champion racehorse, Brazen Beau. This lot and a further two prizes, were generously donated by the event’s major sponsor, Godolphin.

Catriona Williams, former international equestrian rider, a C6/C7 tetraplegic and founder of The CatWalk Trust was delighted by the event’s success.

“To have raised $350,000 is an amazing result. We are truly humbled by the generosity of everyone involved, to the night’s sponsors Godolphin and AJ Hackett, and to all our generous prize donors,” she says.

The star-studded event included a host of famous faces, including CatWalk Trust patron and former All Blacks captain Richie McCaw and his wife, Black Stick Gemma McCaw. The McCaws partook in the live auction, winning the lunch at Annabel Langbein’s private Wanaka hideaway. The event was co-hosted by CatWalk Trust patron and media personality Toni Street and Queenstown real estate guru Brendan Quill, with veteran stock-auctioneer Jono Robertson supplying his skills on the hammer.

Catriona Williams also expressed appreciation for the event’s attendees.

“Our sincere thanks go out to all 200 attendees for their wonderful contribution. We simply couldn’t have achieved such a superlative result without their enthusiasm and support,” she says.

About CatWalk

The CatWalk Spinal Cord Injury Trust raises funds to support the body of scientific opinion which says a cure for SCI will be found. The Trust was founded in 2005 by Catriona Williams, formerly one of New Zealand’s leading international equestrian riders who, following a riding accident in 2002, is now C6/C7 tetraplegic and confined to a wheelchair.

In 2011, CatWalk helped establish through seed funding the Spinal Cord Injury Research Facility based at the Centre for Brain Research at the University of Auckland. The Trust operates a fully transparent and rigorous annual funding process utilising the expertise of the Neurological Foundation’s scientific Advisory Committee and its independent and international peer review process.

The CatWalk Spinal Cord Injury Trust is registered as a Charitable Trust under the Charities Act 2005. Charities Commission Registration No. CC27170.

About Godolphin

Godolphin is the global thoroughbred breeding and horseracing team founded by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates and Ruler of Dubai.

AJ Hackett Bungy

AJ Hackett Bungy, “The Bungy Originals”, is a sustainable tourism operation that represents adventure through Bungy jumping as a core activity, life experience, self-development and innovation through complementary adventure based activities. Recognised as experts in fun and adventure, the culture of the business one of safety, innovation, humour and respect.

For more information and interview opportunities, please contact:

Grace Vujnovich, Grace.Vujnovich@networkcommunication.co.nz, 09 306 5808, 021 737 090

Photo courtesy of Michael Thomas Photography

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