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Countryside day at races

PUBLISHED: 17:52 04 February 2009 | UPDATED: 10:37 07 July 2010

FAKENHAM Racecourse is staging its tenth annual Countryside Counts Raceday on Friday, February 13 at which country sports are put firmly on the racing agenda.

FAKENHAM Racecourse is staging its tenth annual Countryside Counts Raceday on Friday, February 13 at which country sports are put firmly on the racing agenda.

The date of this race meeting is particularly poignant as it falls four years to the day after the highly emotive ban on hunting with hounds was introduced.

Fakenham will also be running its annual amateur charity race on the day at noon which is, for the third year running, being sponsored by Ames Nissan from Thetford. The race raises money for the Countryside Alliance and local charities and is run on the flat, over one and a half miles with a maximum of 12 riders. Each rider carries 12 stone.

The amateur riders are all from East Anglia and are passionate about their hunting. They all regularly ride but have precious little race riding experience. The six women and four men taking part include Yaxham greyhound trainer Julie Green.

The youngest rider is 16-year-old Stuart Higgins from Erpingham.

The Norfolk branch of the Countryside Alliance will again benefit from this year's race and much of the money raised will be used to fund the Countryside Education Day for Norfolk school children.

The West Norfolk Foxhounds will parade on the course in front of the grandstands at 12.30pm and The Roundabout Terrier Racing Roadshow will operate between races in the course enclosure. The first of seven National Hunt race is off at 1.25pm.

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