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Charity Race Days

Many in the equestrian community appeared to rethink their life goals and ambitions during the pandemic, as our fundraising team were deluged with applications for the once-in-alifetime opportunity of racing at Newbury or Wetherby 2021.

A one-mile flat race is no walk in the park, and our jockeys undertook months of arduous preparations and training before heading to the starting line, to ensure they were fully prepared for the challenge. All riders faced a day-long gruelling assessment at the British Racing School in Newmarket or the National Racing College in Doncaster, featuring a strenuous fitness test that includes holding a plank for four minutes and squatting on a wobble cushion for four minutes. It was vital for the jockeys to demonstrate that they had sufficient core strength to safely support them through the race. Newbury jockey Josh Thompson made sure that the BHS charity race entered the history books by scoring an astonishing 94% on his fitness test – the highest charity race fitness score in history!

Adding to their list of mounting pressures, the jockeys were also striving towards a £2,500 minimum fundraising target for BHS campaigns.

When the race days arrived, excitement amongst the jockeys was at fever pitch on both courses and nerves were kicking in. Both races were nail-biters for those looking on, and we caught up with both sets of jockeys during their post-race celebrations.

The Race days have raised over £60,000 for BHS campaigns such as Changing Lives Through Horses, Second Chance, and Access projects!

Interested in being a jockey next year?

Newbury Racecourse, Berkshire on 4th November 2021

Ferris first at Newbury Amy Ferris on Stately Home successfully battled to keep her lead through the final furlong, with Sean O’Connell coming a close second on Hackbridge; Greta Sparey on Broughtons Flare came third. “It was a day I shall never forget!” enthused Amy. “Coming to the finish line in front was quite surreal – I thought ‘Did this really just happen to me?’ As a team we all worked so hard to get to race day in one piece and it was a total pleasure to line up with the seven other riders.”

Amy Ferris winning Newbury race day 2021  

Watch the race here!

Wetherby Racecourse, 29th October 2021

Wetherby won by a head Katie Brown with Boy In The Bar romped delightedly home as the BHS Wetherby winner, with Anna Tuer and George Atkinson both finishing a head behind for joint second. Katie explained that she had had the experience of a lifetime. “It’s a dream come true to ride in a race - but to ride such a big-hearted horse who safely carried me like a gentleman and gave everything he had to win well? That was beyond my wildest dreams. It’s a memory I will treasure forever! I am still on cloud nine and will be for quite some time.”

Katie Brown Winning the Wetherby charity race   

Watch the race here!

Rider Information:

Jokeys posing after Newbury charity race 2021 

  • Unlicensed riders without previous recent race riding experience must attend an assessment day at the British Racing School or Northern Racing College.
  • Riders are responsible for finding their own horses
  • You will have the unique opportunity to ride one of the ex-race horses currently residing at the BRS or at NRC in Doncaster.
  • During the training you will be filmed and photographed on the gallops to assess your style and competence
  • Maximum weight: 11 stone 7 stone including kit (Riders putting up overweight will need to pay an extra £10 per pound which will be donated to The British Horse Society)


Interested in being a jockey next year?

Racehorse Requirements:

Charity Race Day

  • You will need a horse that is in training with a registered trainer or a Point to Pointer.
  • 4 year olds and upwards who have run at least twice under the recognised Rules of Racing
  • All horses to be rated: 0-125 for hurdlers/steeplechasers 0-80 for flat horses Point-to-pointers can also run subject to individual clearance
  • All horses to be vaccinated in accordance with Rule E18/19 of the Rules of Racing

Watch our video of Newbury Riders Sophie & Issy talking about their experience

Take a look at our '5 Essential Requirements to be a Jockey' article if you are interested in learning more about the process

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