Fakenham’s “Countryside Counts” Raceday today (Friday 18 February) will leave racegoers in no doubt over national hunt racing’s support for hunting.

Race titles include For the Fox’s Sake Keep Hunting Beginners’ Steeplechase; Hunting Will Survive the Temporary Ban Hurdle Race; Hands Off Our Hunting Steeplechase and The Hunting Act — Unworkable Legislation.

The 12 participants in its amateur charity race are all passionate about hunting, and include April Gingell, wife of national hunt trainer Matthew, national hunt trainer Pete Webman and Olivia Fitzroy, who turned 16 yesterday.

Each of the amateur jockeys have raised a minimum of £750 in sponsorship and attended a day’s training at the British Racing School. Money raised goes to the Countryside Alliance and local charities.

In a further demonstration of the close links between the countryside and racing, the Countryside Alliance racing partnership has announced the names of its eight two-year-old racehorses. The horses will be running in races throughout the general election campaign to help raise the profile of the ban on hunting with dogs.

The horses, which were named by CA members and will be trained by top trainers including Mark Johnston and Jamie Osborne, are called:

  • Prejudicial
  • Political Spin
  • Tryandstopme
  • Vive La Chasse
  • Hypocrisy
  • Fox’s Prophecy
  • Country Escape
  • Dame Gerald

Simon Hart, chief executive of the CA says: “This is a tremendously exciting project that further strengthens the bonds between horseracing and country sports. As well as helping to raise funds for the Countryside Alliance Fighting Fund this enterprise looks certain to give its members a huge amount of fun and hopefully regular visits to the winners’ enclosure and all for a relatively small outlay.”

There are currently some 450 shares in the horses still available, each for a one-off payment of £275, for which partners will receive a capital share in each horse, reduced entrance badges to the races and invites to stable tours and social events. All prize money and sale profits (when the horses go to public auction in October) will be contributed to the Countryside Alliance Fighting Fund.

For more information, or to apply for a share contact Tom Gittins on (tel: 01608 659988 / 07765 071944), email tgittins@foxtrot.co.uk or visit: www.foxtrot.co.uk/capartnership