Race meeting raises funds for heroes

PUBLISHED: 18:15 31 January 2010 | UPDATED: 11:09 07 July 2010

David Hunter at Fakenham racecourse

David Hunter at Fakenham racecourse

Chris Hill

It's a case of “horses for forces” for a charity race meeting which has changed its fundraising emphasis to help rehabilitate wounded British soldiers.

It's "horses for forces" for a race meeting which has changed its fundraising emphasis to help rehabilitate wounded soldiers.

Fakenham Racecourse will stage its 11th annual amateurs' race at its meeting on February 19.

For the previous 10 years, the event has raised money for the Countryside Alliance. This year, the race proceeds will be split with the forces charity Help for Heroes under the meeting's rebranded title of the Countryside and Forces Raceday.

Clerk of the course David Hunter said: "I hope that the nature of the race meeting will remind the government of the lunacy of the hunting bill and the crucial role that Help for Heroes plays in plugging the financial gap when it comes to providing the first-class aftercare and rehabilitation which injured members of our armed forces receive."

The 12 jockeys taking part will all be retired East Anglian point-to-point riders, giving them a final chance to gallop past a packed grandstand.

One rider who is particularly keen to get back in the saddle is Lt Guy Disney, an officer based at Swanton Morley with the Light Dragoons. Lt Disney lost the lower half of his right leg last summer when a rocket-propelled grenade hit his patrol vehicle in Afghanistan.

Before his injury he rode point-to-point races for Norfolk trainer Nibby Bloom, who will compete against him in the charity ride.

He said: "This will be my first time riding in a race since I lost part of my leg. The training has been going very well and I have had a specially-made 'riding limb' fitted to my leg. It will be a tough, highly competitive race and I am particularly looking forward to being upsides and trying to beat my friend and point-to-point governor Nibby Bloom."

The amateurs' race is at midday.

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