Behind Closed Doors Meetings at Chester in Support of Racing Industry CharitiesPublished on 9 September 2020
A further two fixtures behind closed doors will take place at Chester Racecourse on Friday 11 and Saturday 12 September. 14 races are scheduled across two days and will be available to watch live on Sky Sports Racing. The feature Class 1 Listed Stand Cup Stakes takes place on the Saturday and will also be broadcast live on ITV. Established in 1818 as the Stand Gold Cup, it’s first running was won by Mr Houldsworth’s Magistrate on 6th May 1818. 68 horses are declared to run on the Friday and declarations from Saturday’s 139 entries will be confirmed on Thursday morning.
Race naming rights titles across the two days have been allocated in support of racing industry charities and seven charities will be taking part, with each given the opportunity to champion their individual campaigns and initiatives. The charities involved are Racing to School, Racing Together, The Injured Jockeys Fund, Go Racing Green, Retraining of Racehorses, Racing Welfare and The RCA via their Jockeys Recognition Badge scheme. Chester Racecourse have long supported each organisation through a variety of bespoke initiatives, among others, the set-up of a safe space at Chester Racecourse, in conjunction with Go Racing Green and a local educational programme for schools in association with Racing to School. Information about each charity can be found below.
Racing to School
The education charity Racing to School (Reg no.1040590) delivers free outdoor learning activities for young people at racecourses, studs and trainers’ yards across the country. In 2019, the charity worked with a record 250 primary and secondary schools to deliver over 370 events – engaging more than 15,000 young people with racing. During the Covid-19 lockdown the charity delivered a series of digital workbooks, allowing young people to continue their learning from home. Racing to School will be celebrating its 20th Anniversary in 2021.
Racing Together is British racing’s community engagement activity and is a partnership of charities and other organisations who work across the sport to benefit others.
Racing Together was formed to coordinate, support, represent and measure British racing’s community engagement activity that takes place right across the industry. Through a dynamic website we pull together and highlight all of the work the sport is able to facilitate and support with for the benefit of local communities. Racing Together’s vision is for British racing to be known as a ‘force for good’ by helping the communities in which the sport operates.
The Injured Jockeys Fund
The Injured Jockeys Fund (IJF) was founded in 1964 following the devastating accidents to Tim Brookshaw, and then Paddy Farrell in the 1964 Grand National. Both falls resulted in severe paralysis which immediately ended both their careers. Since then the Fund has helped over 1000 jockeys and their families and has paid out more than £18m in charitable assistance.
Go Racing Green
The main aim of #GoRacingGreen is, with support, to help us all go racing again, or at least be involved in racing, if this is something we love but are missing out on due to their condition, or that of the person they love and care for. The project is for the public but also supports groups and organisations where clients, patients, students or residents may benefit.
Retraining of Racehorses
Retraining of Racehorses (RoR) is British Horseracing's official charity for the welfare of horses who have retired from racing.
The charity promotes the versatility and adaptability of racehorses for other equestrian activities following their retirement from racing. It also protects horse welfare through a nationwide ‘safety net’ that is available to assist any former racehorse considered ‘vulnerable’. In such cases, the charity provides funding for the provision of expert care prior to suitable rehoming.
Racing welfare is a registered charity supporting the workforce of British horseracing. The charity offers professional guidance and practical help to all of racing’s people – including stud, stable and racecourse staff, alongside those working in associated professions – whose dedication is vital for the wellbeing of racing. Their work aims to help people, from recruitment to retirement, to thrive in day to day life and through a range of life’s challenges.
RCA – Jockey Recognition Badge
The Jockey Recognition Badge will be launched into circulation in 2021 in acknowledgement of the skill and dedication required to ride out a claim and also to provide retired jockeys with a sense of community following their retirement. The badge will provide complimentary access to all racecourses and is a further acknowledgement of the dedication and service given by jockeys to the sport.
Chester Race Company Chief Executive, Richard Thomas, said:
“We’re pleased to be able to offer these important charity stakeholders the opportunity to raise awareness of the positive work they’re doing within our industry. The sport of racing has a resonating impact on those involved, including horses, horsemen, racegoers and communities in which racecourses are situated.
“These organisations play a vital part in educating, fundraising and supporting individuals and communities long after the final race is run. We hope that those watching via our broadcast partners this week will not only enjoy the racing action on turf but will take interest in and support the charities taking part.”
John Blake, Chief Executive of Racing Together and Racing to School, said:
“Racing Together is very grateful to Chester – a racecourse that does so much to support its communities year-round – for promoting the partnership that represents all of racing’s committed and creative work to help others. The sport’s immediate response to the pandemic and the way so many organisations found ways to support the national effort, further underlines how seriously racing takes its responsibilities to be a good neighbour.”