Line-up for Pertemps Champions Willberry Charity Derby announced
Selected riders to join Lissa Green and Lara Prior-Palmer
Over 150 members of the public applied to ride in the Pertemps Champions Willberry Charity Derby at Epsom, on Monday 27 August 2017 (Bank Holiday Monday) - over the unique Derby course and distance. The race will be run in aid of The Bob Champion Cancer Trust and Hannah's Willberry Wonder Pony Charity, the inaugural race in April 2017 having raised over £120,00 for the two charities.
On behalf of both charities and the event committee, Bob Champion said:
"It was brilliant to have so many suitable and enthusiastic people entering the race. We are all thrilled with our line-up of 12 from all different parts of the country and all experienced riders, which is so necessary for the challenges of the Epsom Derby track. They are being offered a thrill of a lifetime and in return, we hope to raise as much as we can for the two charities, both in the riders' fundraising and on the day via our lunch and activities."
Simon Durrant from Epsom Downs Racecourse said:
"We are delighted to be hosting this Charity Derby for two such worthy causes on our Family Fun Day and the local Trainers Open Day - something for everyone"
Each selected rider has pledged to raise a minimum of £5,000 and it is hoped the day will make at least £100,000 to be split evenly between the two charities.
The 10 successful riders join cousins Lissa Green, one of Britain's most exciting new eventing talents and daughter of two-time European Eventing Champion and Olympic Silver medallist Lucinda Green MBE, and Lara Prior-Palmer, winner of the 2013 Mongol Derby. Their entry is particularly poignant as Lara herself battled Hodgkin's lymphoma in 2017.
It was Hannah Francis's wish to have a charity race for her Willberry Wonder Pony Charity, expressed before she sadly died in August 2016. Her inspirational legacy lives on in the race.
The full line-up (in alphabetical order):
Joseph Akehurst, 29, is based near Ipswich. He is currently a flying groom, has worked and ridden for many trainers and has been involved with the Shetland Pony Grand National
Deborah Auld, 26, owns an equine feed store in East Lothian. Having ridden all her life, she pretrains her own racehorses
Lucia Borradaile, 60, from Dorset, is now retired and spends a lot of time cycling. She is a former point-to-point rider who rode in the Cheltenham Foxhunters in 1995
Alex Embiricos, 50, has been connected to the Bob Champion story all of her life, her father owning Aldaniti, the horse who carried Bob to Grand National glory in 1981. Based in Sussex, she works as a freelance expedition leader
Sheikh Fahad Al Thani, 28, of Qatar is Chairman of Qatar Racing, a passionate supporter of British Racing and an equestrian enthusiast who took part in the 2016 Mongol Derby
Tim Gredley, 32, has represented GB at show jumping. Based in Newmarket, he now rides in point-to-points as well as running his own company
Lissa Green, 29, is one of eventing's up-and-coming event riders and in 2017 made her 4* competitive debut at the iconic Badminton Horse Trials
Abigail Groves, 49, is a Cancer and End of Life Care Manager, based near Epsom in Surrey. A keen horsewoman, she competes in show jumping and will be celebrating her 50th birthday this year
Heather Larson, 25, from Somerset, is a show jumper and director of a Sports Horse Company. She and Hannah Francis were friends who started out in the Wyle Valley Pony Club together
Alex Monro, 45, works in Devon for Mole Energy Switching, a division of Mole Valley Farmers. A British Young Rider in the 1990's, he has competed at eventing and show jumping internationally and point-to-pointed
Lara Prior-Palmer, 23, won the 2013 Mongol Derby, the world's longest and toughest horse race at 1000km. She fought Hodgkin's lymphoma in 2017
Gemma Redrup, 27, from Rutland, is a journalist at Horse & Hound magazine. She is a keen horsewoman who has competed across many disciplines
Reserves (in alphabetical order):
John Nielson, 51, a company director from Co Durham; John Reddington, 45, a company director from Hertfordshire; Laura Rolph, 32, a BSJA Training Co-ordinator from Oxfordshire and Camilla Swift, 29, a journalist and editor from Sussex.
Please click here for all details of how to get involved in sponsorship of the race and the jockeys riding, how to attend the race and lunch on the day and how to donate.
The Bob Champion Cancer Trust
Reg. charity no. 1024664
Hannah's Willberry Wonder Pony Charity
Reg. charity no. 1166416