Stable Staff Join the Jockey Ranks During Racing Staff Week
Racing Staff Week runs from Saturday 1st July until Saturday 8th July 2017. The week aims to bring the racing industry together to inform and engage horseracing followers and supporters about the passion, skill and dedication required to work with racehorses.
On the 1st of July, the inaugural running of the Betfair Three Feathers Cup at Lingfield Racecourse will see 12 members of staff getting the opportunity to become jockeys and ride horses trained by their bosses for a 1m4f race on the all-weather surface.
Later in the week, on Friday 7th July, the third running of the Betfair Clock Tower Cup will take place at Doncaster Racecourse with a further 12 stable staff donning racing silks. As in previous years, the race will be held over seven furlongs on the turf.
Race sponsors Betfair have kindly put up generous prizes in each race of a scholarship at the British Racing School or the Northern Racing College, where the winner will receive the highest standard of training to either attain their Category A Amateur Jockey License, or undertake another training course in order to advance their career in racing. Winning riders will also receive a commemorative Gibson Saddlers race exercise saddle in Betfair colours.
The 24 riders taking part and fundraising for Racing Welfare are:
Three Feathers Cup (Lingfield):
Heidi McGrath riding for Murty McGrath
Eloise Chapman riding for Alan King
Tom Eyers riding for John Best
Natasha Hill riding for Adam West
Brogan McKarrick riding for Paul Webber
Oliver Brophy riding for Linda Jewell
Amber Blaney riding for William Knight
Danielle Smith riding for Amanda Perrett
Rosalee Lampard riding for Nick Lampard
Aaron Warwick-Parker riding for Roger Ingram
Hope Williams riding for Phil Middleton
Elinor Jones riding for Jamie Osborne
The Clock Tower Cup (Doncaster):
Poppy Fielding riding for Tom Dascombe
Rhianon Horne riding for Daniel Loughnane
Jessie O’Kane riding for Paul Midgley
Jenny Walker riding for Scott Dixon
Julie Kelshaw riding for Patrick Holmes
Amy Lawrence riding for Marjorie Fife
Mark Simms riding for Karl Burke
Elise Kemp riding for Karl Burke
Kieran O’Hare riding for Martin Keighley
Jess Richardson riding for Jedd O’Keeffe
Samantha Pugh riding for Tim Easterby
Danny Bembridge riding for Scott Dixon
The riders are raising sponsorship money for Racing Welfare, the charity which supports anyone working within the British horseracing industry; including stable staff, stud staff and racecourse staff. Danielle Smith, riding for Amanda Perrett at Lingfield comments: “I have always wanted to experience riding in a race and being able to raise money for a great charity in Racing Welfare, who help us stable staff and who organise brilliant events like this one, makes it even better.”
While the majority of riders taking part in the race will be racing competitively for the first time, others have some prior experience. Poppy Fielding, riding for Tom Dascombe at Doncaster has ridden a winner pony racing at Haydock whilst Aaron Warwick-Parker, riding for Roger Ingram, has had two rides under rules and in point to points in 2012. He said: “This charity race is the ideal time for me to ‘re-start’ my racing career and gain more experience for such a worthy cause.”
Several riders taking part are hoping that their experience riding in the Three Feathers Cup and the Clock Tower Cup can be put to use in future races. Jessie O’Kane has worked in racing for two years, inspired by her cousin, flat jockey David Allen, and hopes to become a professional jockey too. Eloise Chapman, riding for Alan King hopes to race ride over jumps in the future and Tom Eyers (riding for John Best) and Oliver Brophy (riding for Linda Jewell) are both enthusiastic about getting their amateur licences in the future.
Racing Welfare Chief Executive, Dawn Goodfellow comments: “We are very pleased to be running two stable staff races this year with the introduction of the Three Feathers Cup at Lingfield, giving twenty-four members of staff an exciting opportunity to experience the thrill of riding on the track. I wish everyone taking part the best of luck in the running! We are extremely grateful to sponsors Betfair and to the owners and trainers who are giving their staff this excellent opportunity.”