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Harry Meade is among the “jockeys” taking to the prestigious Ascot turf for charity during the Berkshire racecourse’s Prince’s Countryside Fund Raceday (24 November) — in support of British farmers and rural areas.

The international eventer will be donning racing silks (and using a much smaller saddle) as he lines up alongside ten other riders — including familiar faces such as Michael Owen, racehorse owner Sheikh Fahad Al Thani and Louise Daly, master of the Ledbury Hunt.

Former top footballer Michael described the race preparation as a “learning curve”, having only started riding this year and recently taking two tumbles during his assessment day.

He will be partnering a horse trained by Tom Dascombe, who is based at Michael’s Manor House Stables in Cheshire.

“Riding sometimes looks easy, but having tried it myself I realise that it’s just the jockeys making it look straightforward,” said Michael. “Experiencing first-hand quite how difficult it is has definitely increased my respect for jockeys.

“I have two horses that I could ride in the race. One is on the safer side, but I plan to ride the more challenging horse because I think it gives me the best chance of winning — this was never just about taking part. However, on this occasion just crossing the line will be an achievement.”

Sheikh Fahad is making a return to Ascot racecourse after finishing runner-up in last year’s contest, while seasoned charity race jockey Maurice McCarthy will be taking part in his 37th charity ride — having previously ridden at Ascot three times. He has raised over £130,000 for numerous charities.

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The line-up:

Emma Evans: former amateur rider and wife of trainer David Evans

Hannah Partridge: director of creative agency Mr President

Harry Meade: international event rider

Jenna Linwood: racing assistant at Ascot racecourse

Louise Daly: master of the Ledbury Hunt

Mark Richmond-Watson: portfolio manager at James Hambro & Partners

Maurice McCarthy: charity race stalwart and runs Green Waste Management Ltd

Michael Owen: former international footballer

Sheikh Fahad Al Thani: racehorse owner

Southerly Roberts: competition rider and science teacher

Tom Chatfeild-Roberts: vet

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