Published: 12/05/2015 16:33:34
Fearless fundraisers saddle up for aht charity race
Nine daring riders from Newmarket are set to take part in an almighty fundraising challenge this summer; a charity race at Newmarket Racecourse’s July Course to raise money for the Animal Health Trust, one of the UK’s leading veterinary charities.
Taking place on 27 June at the Animal Health Trust (AHT)’s Gala Race Day, an annual fundraising event which showcases the crucial role the charity plays in the equine industry, the race is the first of its kind to be held at the event. It promises to bring an extra dimension to the annual Gala Race Day as spectators get behind the local lads and lasses and enjoy the thrill of the charity race.
With the riders all based in Newmarket, the race brings together faces from different areas of the racing industry that the town is famous for. Included in the runners is Rosie Margarson, the daughter of George Margarson, racehorse trainer based at Graham Lodge Stables in Newmarket. Rosie is taking preparation for the race seriously, riding out in Newmarket every morning for George and said, “I want to fundraise for the AHT because it does such incredible work, and I would love for it to be able to continue doing so.”
Also signed up to the challenge is Robbie Mills, who has recently taken on California Chrome, perhaps the most famous racehorse in North America, during his UK-stay with Rae Guest, a Newmarket-based racehorse trainer. Robbie said, “Having witnessed the AHT’s great work both within the racing industry and from a personal perspective, I feel that this is a brilliant opportunity to give something back to the horse.”
Another rider with a strong racing background is Carina McKeown, daughter of Lady Cecil, wife of the late Sir Henry Cecil, the hugely popular trainer of the legendary Frankel. Carina is excited to be taking part in the race, saying, “Horses give me and my family our living as well as some of the happiest moments of our lives. It’s now time to give something back by supporting this wonderful cause.”
The race is also pleased to have the involvement of Newmarket’s latest tourism campaign, Discover Newmarket, with Samantha Hills from the initiative signed up to run. Guests on a Discover Newmarket tour are treated to a visit to the AHT’s base in Lanwades Park, Kentford, but Samantha also knows the charity well personally. “I have had many friends whose animals have been treated at the AHT, from small dogs to horses, and the care is always amazing,” she said. Samantha is also the daughter of Michael Hills, Derby winning jockey, who, luckily for Samantha, is “more than happy” to help her with the challenge.
Verity MacMahon is also working hard to prepare for the race, having recently begun exercising racehorses again after a long break. Verity has worked for several trainers in the past, including Roger Charlton, Clive Brittain and Michael Jarvis before moving into her career as a Land Manager, and is appreciating being back riding out on Newmarket heath. Verity said, “It’s great to be back and to have such an exciting challenge to aim for! To ride at Newmarket with all of my family and friends watching whilst raising money for a super charity is a challenge worth pushing myself out of my comfort zone for!”
Among our racing enthusiasts are two riders who are new to the world of racing, so their sign-up to the challenge is even more admirable. Hollie Byrne has grown up with horses, competing in Pony Club and hunting regularly, but says, “Racing is a discipline that I have never ventured in to, so this is definitely a new and exciting challenge for me! Animals become part of the family and in times of illness or injury, it’s organisations like the AHT that are relied upon by so many, so I’m raising money for something I feel passionate about.”
The other rider venturing in to racing for the first time is Kelly Rowden, who says, “This is an absolutely massive challenge for me as I have never ridden a racehorse, so I’ll need lots of encouragement and support to spur me on!”
Finally, the race is thrilled to have Katy Reed and Amy Drummond on board, who both recently completed their assessment day with the British Racing School and are looking forward to the challenge.
With only seven weeks to go until the charity race, the riders have their work cut out for them not only in terms of preparation, but also fundraising. Having pledged to raise £4,000 each for the veterinary charity, the race is on for each rider to hit their target before 27 June.
Dr Mark Vaudin, Chief Executive of the AHT, said: “We are absolutely thrilled to have all of these riders signed up to take part in our charity race, and we know it will be a fantastic experience for them. We now need the generous people of Newmarket to rally round these brave fundraisers and show their support – they really need your donations!”
To donate to any of the riders and view all of their detailed profiles, please visit www.aht.org.uk/galaraceday.
Spending your money wisely
From every £1 you give
us we spend 93p
fighting disease and
injury in animals.
We use the remaining 7p
to raise the next £1.