Six lucky riders will have the chance to line up with Nick Skelton, Ben Hobday and either William or Alice Fox-Pitt in a race at Cheltenham in aid of Willberry Wonder Pony.

Tina Cook will also be among the competitors in the flat race, which is also in aid of the Bob Champion Cancer Trust, on 20 April next year.

The celebrities will be joined by six riders from the “wider equestrian community”, and applications are open now.

Ian Peters, trustee of Willberry Wonder Pony, said: “The equestrian community has been overwhelming in its support for Hannah’s legacy and to share this day with the Bob Champion Cancer Trust is the highest honour.

“We hope people will generously support the heroes riding, and those inspiring their efforts – Bob and Hannah.

“The fight against cancer needs heroes and we know the equestrian community will stand shoulder to shoulder with ours.”

Before she died, teenage event rider Hannah Francis said she would like a race to be run in aid of her charity, which supports bone cancer research and granting horsey wishes to those with serious illnesses.

An official lunch and fundraising activities will also take place on the day of the race.

“Hannah Francis was a brave and inspirational person and I was fortunate enough to have met her,” Mr Champion said.

“I feel honoured that the Bob Champion Cancer Trust can celebrate her life with the Champions Willberry Charity Race, linking the charity she set up as her legacy with the Bob Champion Cancer Trust.

“I hope that everyone gets behind supporting us whether this is by applying to ride, attending the lunch, sponsorship, donations or prizes, so we can raise much needed funds for both charities.”

Applications from riders are invited from today (16 November) until 5 December.


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Successful applicants must be aged 18 or over, be competent riders and be able to provide their own horse. Download application forms and guidelines here.

Ian Renton, regional director of Jockey Club Racecourses, said: “We are delighted to be able to host this charity race in honour of two such rewarding charities.”