ONE highlight of Fontwell Park’s raceday last week was the Great Ormond Street Hospital Charity Flat Race, when amateur riders had their chance to enjoy the thrills of riding in a race and at the same time raise money for the well deserving charity. This year the event raised more then £9,000 for funds.
Riding horses trainer by Gary Moore at Lower Beeding, Horsham, were two of the three men in the nine-strong field. Simon Marchant of Mid Sussex, on board Peplum, was having his first ride on a racecourse. He is a regular rider and player of polo. For Mark Graham of Shoreham this was his second ride. He is a cousin of Ryan, Jamie and Joshua Moore and like Simon, has been riding out at the Lower Beeding stables.
But in the end it was the female riders who clinched the first four places in the race, with Claire Brown winning on board Current Climate, trained by Richard Rowe at Sullington. Claire was having her first ride in a charity flat race, fulfilling a long-standing ambition. She has rehabilitated several ex-racehorses with great success.
Second and third places were fought out by a mother-and-daughter combination, with only a nose separating the two. Charlotte Ingham, the youngest rider in the field, finished second on board the Peter Hedger-trained Regal Rave, owned by her father Steve. Her mother Coral, who has ridden all her life and runs her own yard specialising in dressage and eventing horses, finished third on stablemate Lisahane Bog.
In fourth place was Ancient Greece, trained by George Baker, and ridden by Claire Thornton, who has been riding since she was eight and was also having her first ride in a charity flat race.
Fontwell Park promises another great afternoon of racing on Friday this week, November 4, when the first race is at 1.20pm.