Blog 10 – Laura Parker

July: Racing Staff Week Blog.

‘Great Lover’ … luckily I’m not about to start a 50 shades of grey  style of blog , this is in fact the name of my chosen steed for next weeks Stable Staff charity race at Newton Abbott Races. I have always dreamt of getting the chance to race around a proper racecourse and Newton Abbot is one of my favourites so this will be an even more special opportunity .

I have very kindly been given this horse to ride by permission of his owners Mr & Mrs Ferguson to whom I’m very grateful and hoping we can repay by giving it our best shot . It’s fair to say Great Lover isn’t the most enthusiastic about racing and is more a great lover of his food however his work at home is good and more importantly his temperament makes him a lovely ride for me to enjoy next week regardless of how we finish.

I have ridden in point to points a few seasons ago so have experience of the race day routine for jockeys and horses and on the day of the race all of us riders are being given a guided course walk together with a jockey coach so hopefully everything should be relatively straight forward.

The minimum weight we are all allowed to carry is 11st so that means there’s no need for me to use a smaller than usual saddle or any tack out of the ordinary .. my sisters racing collection will be being raided so as I have everything I need.

I already run most days and am currently riding out about 3 a morning so shouldn’t be too unfit however I know from experience that riding in a race is a completely different type of fitness so I’ll just have to hope I’ve done enough .. and remember to breathe!!

The last few weeks I have also been using an equiciser (mechanical horse) to try and help me stay as tidy and efficient as possible .. whether this has worked or not we’ll see on Friday.

Racing Welfare have done a great job with organising Racing Staff Week and the introduction of prizes, money and end of week parties in Lambourn and Cheltenham. Racing needs more staff so the more recognition and support we can get the more attractive and sustainable our industry can hopefully become.

Anyone wishing to help sponsor me for this race please visit my Just Giving page .

I look forward to reliving the race in my next blog .