#RidingForHEROS 2016 at Windsor Racecourse
Marcus Townend, following his race-riding debut at Windsor Racecourse on Saturday August 27.
Guests enjoyed a fun filled day with live auction hosted by racing’s favourite; Richard Phillips and a silent auction with spectacular opportunities to purchase a wide range of donated items and activities that in some instances money just couldn’t buy. Sponsors also generously supported races included Tori Global, Bathwick Tyres, Irish Thoroughbred Marketing, the National Trainers Federation and North Farm Stud.
The NTF & HEROS Staff Development Charity Race meant a lot to many in attendance as HEROS launched its alliance with the National Trainers Federation (NTF). The race itself was a sparkling end to the day with six jockeys on the card who all raised valuable funds. Half the field were stable staff, Frankie Amatt, Jordan Dorward and Daniel Bonner. Sally Parry, a district nurse who had come from the industry, Clare Salmon, the CEO of the British Equestrian Foundation and Marcus Townend, joined them. As racing correspondent of the Daily Mail Marcus set out to highlight the industry-staffing plight and his own personal experience in a series of editorials outlining the trials and tribulations of his commitment to ride in a race rising from a challenge in October 2015, having not sat on a horse since childhood. HEROS Ambassador Victoria Pendleton was also on hand to calm his nerves having been on a similar journey herself.
In his article for Sportsmail on Monday August 29 Marcus analysed his own running of the race with the benefit of a very different perspective and a new respect for jockeys.
Marcus commented that in a way he felt guilty: "My job gave me the contacts to ride and to secure help and a mount in Saturday’s race. There are loads of stable staff vastly more competent than me – they are the backbone of the sport and would love the chance to race just once... [a stable staff league] might even be a lure to potential recruits in an industry scratching its head over how to deal with a shortage of stable staff."
Marcus' comments are timely recognition as the charity race marked the new partnership between the National Trainers Federation (NTF) and HEROS Charity who, with funding from the Racing Foundation, are set to build an education and training strategy. The aim is to stop the 'head scratching' and instead instigate robust plans that will expand on existing schemes to attract and develop staffing resources for the racing industry over the long-term.
The NTF & HEROS Charity Race results (WATCH THE RACE HERE)
WITH HUGE THANKS to our #RidingForHEROS sponsors and supporters
Bathwick Tyres • Irish Thoroughbred Marketing • John Reid • North Farm Stud Equestrian • Richard Phillips • Starsports Betting • The Lion Associates • TORI Global • Victoria Pendleton • Windsor Racecourse – Royal Windsor racing & events