The BHS Vice Patron met the eight amateur jockeys at Newbury Racecourse to congratulate them on their fantastic achievement and hear about their experiences taking part in the one-mile flat race to raise vital funds for the equine charity’s campaigns.
Amy Ferris on Stately Home successfully battled to keep her lead through the final furlong at Newbury, with Sean O’Connell coming a close second and Greta Sparey coming in third.
This was the second BHS charity race in the last month. The Wetherby Charity Race saw 10 riders take on the challenge at the end of October, with Katie Brown on Boy In The Bar taking home first place, and Anna Tuer and George Atkinson finishing closely behind for joint second.
In total, nearly £60,000 has been raised by the 18 jockeys so far, who had to each raise at least £2,500 towards a BHS campaign of their choice across welfare, safety, education and access.
On top of achieving this huge fundraising target, the races required all the riders from across the country to undertake gruelling jockey training over several months. Their intensive training included a day-long assessment with rigorous fitness tests at the British Racing School in Newmarket or the National Racing College in Doncaster. Tracy Casstles, BHS Director of Fundraising, said: “Both races were an incredible test of speed, stamina, and skill, and our amateur jockeys should all be immensely proud of what they and their horses have achieved. The enthusiasm, energy, and commitment of our 18 hard-working jockeys has been truly impressive, and their remarkable journeys have been an inspiration to watch. It’s been an experience of a lifetime for them, and they have given it their all. We are very honoured to have their support. The BHS would also like to thank the trainers and owners of all the amazing horses that were lent to our jockeys. Thanks to their generosity and selflessness, our jockeys have raised a fabulous sum of nearly £60,000 for our vital campaigns.”
There was even more cause for celebration on the day at Newbury Racecourse, as Martin Clunes OBE presented the BHS Annual Awards to the amazing winners from the last two years, in the presence of HRH The Princess Royal, who shared some poignant words with the award winners and their guests during the ceremony.