Meet our amateur jockeys before they head to the starting gate for a mile long race on the flat in aid of the BHS’ charity appeals.
Support your favourite jockey(s), and their preferred causes, by donating on their individual fundraising pages.
Remember to book your tickets to cheer them to the finish line in person and enjoy a delicious lunch before the rest of the day’s racing.
Nick is a Fellow of the BHS and used to event for a living. He now works full time coaching and has a couple of horses he competes with.
“I believe one of these is the best I have ever ridden and want to do him justice and therefore I am always looking for reasons to further motivate me to stay fit."
“I have not sat on a racehorse in over 20 years and never in a race saddle!”
Mick Appleby has been involved with horse racing for nearly 30 years. Over these years, he has gained an enormous amount of experience and knowledge from his work with horses – both in training and horse management.
“Mick was stable jockey for 3 years, riding numerous winners, then went on to become head lad for a number of stables. In 2010, Mick went out on his own founding Mick Appleby Racing where he has built up a great team of youth and experience, not to mention achieving numerous winners and placed horses.
Allison started riding at 12 quite by chance when she redeemed a £5 voucher from a newspaper to have a half hour “have a go” session in half term. She has been riding ever since and pursued a career in horses, now running a riding school in Somerset. She coaches children and adults and especially like eventing.
“Three years ago, Allison had both hips replaced as they had no cartilage left and she could hardly walk, let alone ride. After the operations she had to learn to walk again and was not sure if she would ever ride again. Fortunately Allison was able to get back on a horse after 6 months of rehab.
“It has been a long journey getting my brain around my hips not just falling out at any point, so 3 years on I have taken on the challenge to ride in this charity race for two reasons; firstly because horses changed my life when I was 12 and secondly helped my rehab 3 years ago.”
“I have always deep down wanted to ride in a race, so it was an opportunity I had to grab. I will be raising funds for the Changing Lives through Horses Programme as horses have changed my life.”
Amelia has always been around horses, both at work and at home. Growing up, she took part in many competitions, with her favourite being show jumping, which ultimately led to a job with two international show jumpers.
"I have three horses at home, which I care for daily, two of them are retired having completed many pony club rally’s, camps and competitions throughout the years. The other is still in light work but no longer competes."
My first job was working for Millfield School as a groom, I was able to gain a lot of training and experience, this set me up for a life spent with horses.
Amelia grew up being very sceptical about racing, so she made the decision to go out and work in the industry to broaden her mind. “I was hooked, I was able to understand that the horses are cared for SO well and everyone at home, on the yard, loves the horses and their welfare.”
Amelia took part in the Greatwood Charity Race at Newbury Racecourse in March this year and is now raising money for Helping Horses.
“The race itself was an exciting experience and encouraged me to apply for another one. I feel extremely lucky to have been given the opportunity to compete in a charity race again, and hope to raise as much as I can for such a charitable cause.”
Ella grew up in a sea side village in Pembrokeshire, where her family had a dairy/beef farm. Ella could be found on the farm every day, but growing up she never had horses. She always admired them from a distance, loving to watch the racing on channel 4 when she was 15/16.
Ella works full time for trainer Martin Keighley and is able to ride 2/3 lots a day and gets to look after some lovely horses and take them racing too. Ella has never raced before herself, but it has been a dream of hers.
“It has always been a dream of mine to become a jockey and hopefully this race will be the first step in achieving my dream. Martin and Belinda (my employers) have been very supportive with me submitting an application form.”
Ella is raising money for Changing Lives through Horses.
Georgia credits her obsession with horse racing to when she was a child and there was nothing to watch on TV on a Saturday afternoon except Channel 4 racing.
Having being told at school that horse racing was ‘not an industry to pursue a career in’ Georgia dutifully completed a degree in Food Manufacturing. However she decided to take a year out to work in racing to see where she ended up. She gained a place on the BHA graduate scheme and has not looked back since.
Georgia has never even sat on a racehorse in training before, but always dreamt of pony racing and point-to-points.
“I thought it was about time I challenged myself. In honesty the thought of riding in a race utterly terrifies me but I am looking forward to the challenge and pushing myself and raising money for a cause that is personally close to me.
Georgia is raising funds for Changing Lives through Horses.
“My mother is an equine assisted practioner, meaning she works with children not in main stream education for mental health reasons, using horses to facilitate the children’s therapy. Having seen first-hand the impact of horses on these children and hearing the stories that my mother has told me about the improvements in children's social skills, empathy, judgement and confidence I totally believe in the power horses can have on people's mental health. Horses offer a real way for people to learn valuable skills that can see them return to education and employment.”
Isabella first learnt to ride a racehorse in November 2017 when she started training to take part in the Macmillan Cancer charity horserace. Since then she has caught the bug and is training for her amateur jockey licence.
Isabella was previously Sponsorship Manager at Newbury Racecourse and was the contact who managed the inaugural BHS charity race at the course. After working at Newbury for more than two years she decided she wanted to ride there.
Isabella is raising funds for the Dead or Dead Slow campaign.
“As a regular rider, with a number of friends who ride, we are often having to wave drivers to slow down, especially when we are on young horses. A number of friends have had serious falls on the roads due to their horses spooking at cars driving too quickly.”
Laura has been around horses since before she can remember, and grew up amongst her mum’s riding school, which she started from scratch. In her teens she became more involved within the riding school, gaining her BHSAI qualification and taking an active role with the teaching and running of the school.
Laura presently manages the family’s livery yard, overseeing the care and welfare of 50 liveried horses and ponies (and their owners who vary in age from 7 to 77 years old!). Managing the yard means Laura has a wide and varied client base that she assists with their riding through individual lessons and clinics involving dressage and jumping.
Outside of work Laura enjoys riding her horses and competing in Show jumping. In more recent years, Laura has developed a keen interest for the thoroughbred and racing industry, an interest which began with her sister who is an amateur jockey.
Laura is raising money for Helping Horses.
“I wanted to take part in the race due to the tragic loss of a dear friend. She lost her life in late 2017 to a short yet brutal battle with cancer. Amanda was a very keen horsewoman, with a real love for thoroughbreds and racing. I first met her when she brought her ex-racehorse on livery to our yard.
“When I read about the BHS Charity Ride I immediately thought of her. I will be doing the race in Amanda’s memory.
“I’ve never raced before, and I’m very excited about the race at Newbury. Wish me luck!”
Louise is a full time Firefighter who also rides racehorses on her days off. She has been around horses her whole life as her Dad and Grandad are ex jockeys. As such she always had ponies growing up, and has been riding racehorses for nearly 10 years.
Her dad had to give up his riding career due to injury, but loves watching Louise and hearing all about her riding.
“I have never ridden in a race before but have always been keen to give it a go! I think this will be an excellent way to bring back some happy memories for him.”
Louise is raising money for the Dead or Dead slow campaign.
“I have seen or been involved in too many near misses and feel drivers are very uneducated on how to approach horses on the road.”
Sophie is a sales manager at Redactive Media, working to manage the sales for British Horse Magazine.
Sophie works in London during the week, but for evenings and weekends she escapes to a semi-rural life to be with her dog Peggy and new horse Pie, with whom she hopes to event.
Sophie is supporting Friends at the End.
“My mum died in April last year which was devastating for me. In the same year, I also lost my horse Ed who I shared with my Mum, so I am doing this in honour of both.”
Olivia has been obsessed with and been around horses since she was very little, despite the fact that her family is very ‘un-horsey’ and her mother is allergic. She rides her own horses daily, enjoys show jumping, particularly at the Horse of The Year Show, and produces ponies from Connemara Sales.
Olivia is raising money for the Healthcare & Education Clinics.
Maurice Mccarthy is a passionate amateur jockey, having raced in numerous charity races over the past 15 years. In August 2019 he achieved one of his ambitions by winning the historic Newmarket Town Plate in by a record breaking 86 lengths and also breaking the track record in the process.
Having raced in 47 previous charity races, Maurice has managed to raise over £200,000 for various charities including Macmillan, Children in Need, Countryside Alliance, Spinal Injuries, Injured Jockeys Fund, BHEST, and many local charities.
“Racing for charity over the past 15 years has been an unbelievable experience for both myself and my amazing family. I have loved every minute of it, apart from the dieting of course!”