Cheltenham to Aintree fundraiser in memory of talented young rider

A team of cyclists will undertake the 150-mile journey from Cheltenham to Aintree to raise money to fund mental health support training in memory of a talented young rider.

Tim Jones was 17 years old when he took his own life earlier this year. The teenager held his amateur jockey licence and worked for trainer Micky Hammond. He also competed in eventing, including riding at Badminton’s Mitsubishi Motors Cup championships earlier this year.

His father, Simon, launched an appeal to raise money for Racing Welfare to spend on training those working in the industry in mental health first aid (news, 26 September).

Mental Health First Aid England’s training gives people practical skills, knowledge and confidence to help them spot signs of mental ill health in those around them and to offer support as a first point of contact.

“The response to our campaign, launched in memory of Tim has been overwhelming,” said Mr Jones.

“With the money raised, we now start the job of delivering the training that will help us realise our initial ambition of a trained mental health first aider in each yard.

“It is wonderful that our generous donors can now see how their money is being used and how the welfare of our racing colleagues is being supported.”

Mr Jones is part of the team taking on the sponsored bike ride include will pedal from Cheltenham racecourse in Gloucestershire to Aintree racecourse in Merseyside on 2 April, the first day of the 2020 Randox Health Grand National Festival.

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The Liverpool venue will also host a fundraising event in Tim’s memory on the day, where a painting of the young rider will be auctioned.

The painting (pictured top), by artist Diane Marshall, is of Tim riding on Middleham’s gallops through the snow and was presented to Mr Jones on Saturday (19 October) at Market Rasen.

Around £15,000 has already been raised in Tim’s memory and some of this money has already gone towards running a training course by Mental Health First Aid England for racing staff in Middleham.

For more information, visit: https://www.justgiving.com/s-jones38

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