The British Horse Society (BHS) is set to host a charity flat race at Newbury Racecourse on Thursday 8 November. The race will see 10 jockeys, including BBC sports reporter Lizzie Greenwood-Hughes, head to the starting line for the first time in aid of the BHS’s charity appeals.
Each jockey will be racing towards a £2,000 fundraising target in aid of the BHS and its many vital campaigns across access, safety, welfare and education. Before race day, the jockeys will need to complete a gruelling fitness test to ensure they comply with racing fitness standards.
Director of Fundraising for The British Horse Society, Tracy Casstles said: “We are thrilled to be launching the BHS charity flat race at Newbury Racecourse next month. The training process has been testing for many of the jockeys but their determination and willpower to succeed has been extraordinary. Each jockey is raising money for a BHS campaign of their choice and every penny raised will make a great difference to the running and development of their chosen campaign.”
The charity race takes place at midday on Thursday 8 November. BHS members are entitled to 50% discount off tickets with the code ‘BHS18’. Tickets include entry to the November Afternoon Racing.
The jockeys heading to the starting line on 8 November are:
Having had open heart surgery 35 years ago and recently undergoing additional surgery, Ann Bostock’s biggest hurdle has been getting fit enough to ride, having only been able to start her training in early September. Ann plans to raise £2000 for the BHS, with any excess being donating to the British Heart Foundation.
Rhys Glastonbury is no stranger to the equine world, having been involved with horses and horse racing from a young age. Rhys previously competed in athletics at an international level for Wales, but since giving up competing, it has always been his dream to ride in a race at one of Britain’s best racecourses. Rhys states the fitness demands of riding three to four horses a day, dieting and added gym work to ensure he is fit enough for the race have been a big challenge.
Lizzie Greenwood-Hughes is not unfamiliar with the sporting world, having regularly presented sports news for the BBC for many years. Lizzie has ridden horses all her life, despite not owning a pony until she was in her 40’s. Lizzie jumped at the chance to race in the charity race at Newbury, but reality soon kicked in when she realised how gruelling the training process would be.
Simon Grieve is an event rider who has competed from novice through to the highest international competitions and has a team of event horses based in Leicestershire. Simon is extremely excited to be representing the BHS, particularly in regard to the work they do with equine welfare and road safety for horses, riders and drivers. He is very much looking forward to the challenge, but it will be a very different experience for him.
Louise Harwood has been involved with horses her entire life and thrives on competition. Having competed at international level, Louise was looking for a new challenge and couldn’t resist the temptation of taking part in a jockey race.
Alan Hiscox is currently Director of Safety for The British Horse Society. Before joining the BHS, Alan served for 32 years in the British Police; 26 of those years in the Mounted Branch of the London Metropolitan Police. He has played a vital role in the implementation and development of many of the BHS’ key safety campaigns including their hugely successful ‘Dead? Or Dead Slow?’ campaign, focused on educating drivers on how to safely pass horses on the roads. Alan’s biggest challenge before the race was having to lose a stone and a half and ensuring he was fit enough to take part.
Alison Lees has been riding since she was eight years old and initially worked with horses when leaving school. Stating that racing in her 50’s is high up on her bucket list, Alison has owned, ridden and competed most of her life but only got on a racehorse for the first time this year.
Looking for her next big challenge, Sarah Lowthian decided a proper horse race was just the thing. Working in the City of London, training for the race has taken up every spare hour she has. Training has been testing; she’s fallen off, torn a ligament in her knee, scared herself silly, cried, laughed and laughed again.
Sarah Palmer has been riding for as long as she can remember. Huge achievements for her include training with William Fox-Pitt, taking part in point to pointing and even working in Terry Casey’s team when he won the Grand National - so she’s no stranger to the racing world. Sarah has had a break from riding since having children and says getting back into the swing of the saddle is “no easy task”.
Fiona Symes is a retired police officer and foster carer. Having ridden all her life, she has witnessed the profound affect her horses had on the children she fostered, most of who were on the autistic spectrum. Fiona noticed improvements in their self-confidence and skills and is therefore donating her money towards the BHS’ “Changing Lives Through Horses” programme.
To find out more about the jockeys’ stories and to donate safely visit justgiving.com/campaign/BHScharityrace2018.