Monday 11th June 2012
Stars get on parade for a Cavalry Charge
Newmarket's July Course to host Charity race in aid of soldiers and stable-lads.
On August 18th, 12 amateur riders will make Newmarket racecourse history when they line up for the July Course's first ever Charity race - The Blue Square Charity Cavalry Charge. The race will be the largest fundraising element of Horsemen and Heroes Day, a unique raceday held at the 'Home of Horseracing' in aid of Racing Welfare and The Household Cavalry Operational Casualties Fund (HCOCF).
The race organiser, Sarah Oliver from the UK Amateur Jockeys Association, has recruited an eclectic mix of would be Jockeys that include high profile actors, a Member of Parliament and members of the racing community; all riders have undertaken to raise a minimum of £5,000 each. The most high profile rider is actor Nathaniel Parker, best known for roles such as Inspector Lynley and the evil Lord Agravaine in BBC's Merlin. Gloucestershire based Parker has been preparing for his race by regularly riding out for legendary Cheltenham Festival trainer Kim Bailey.
Nathaniel Parker quoted: "POOR HORSE" seems to be the expression in most people's eyes as I tell them how incredibly excited I am by the prospect of finally donning silks and riding in a race. There was no way I could miss out on the opportunity to ride at Newmarket, the HQ of Thoroughbred racing. As a patron of Racing Welfare I hope I will raise awareness of work done by this charity for all those stable lads and lasses and everyone connected to the sport that need support. I am thrilled to be a part of it; an ambition achieved (nearly)"
Racing commentator and former Emmerdale regular Malcolm Tomlinson received the last minute call up to ride when his actress daughter Eleanor Tomlinson had to pull out due to publicity duties for Jack The Giant Killer, her latest Hollywood movie co-starring alongside Bill Nighy and Ewan Macgregor. The star actress will however be the official starter of the race.
Eleanor Tomlinson quoted: "I am immensely proud of my father for riding in this race on Horsemen and Heroes day. The word hero is one that is bandied about far too readily; however the soldiers of the Household Cavalry and the stable staff who diligently look after racehorses day in day out are surely worthy of the term. I am so looking forward to see him fly up the Newmarket turf, I just wish it was me in the saddle instead!"
Malcolm Tomlinson quoted: "I've been riding horses since I was three and have been in love with racing all my life. To work as a commentator is a great thrill but to actually have the opportunity to ride in a race at Newmarket, the home of horse racing, in aid of two such worthy charities, is simply fantastic ! I hope Eleanor puts a few more jobs my way - a role in her next feature film would do fine."
Richard Negus head of fundraising and communications for Racing Welfare commented:
"We are delighted that Newmarket Racecourses chose Racing Welfare and the HCOCF to be supported by their first ever Charity race. The Blue Square Charity Cavalry Charge will be a huge amount of fun for the racegoers but no small challenge for the riders. Seasoned professional Jockeys say that The July Course is difficult to ride, so our 12 intrepid amateurs are really putting themselves through it to raise the two Charities some serious money. We are indebted to them and our generous sponsor Blue Square"