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Cheltenham Festival race featuring Andrew Nicholson raises thousands for charity

A charity race that eventer Andrew Nicholson rode in at the Cheltenham Festival has raised more than £230,000 for the Injured Jockeys Fund (IJF).

All 12 riders in the St Patrick’s Derby agreed to raise at least £5,000 to take part in the race, which was run on 12 March at Cheltenham.

The race was won by former conditional jockey James Collins and Knight’s Parade.

Kiwi rider Andrew finished fourth in the race — declaring it “much better than doing dressage”.

“I thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience,” he told H&H.

“It was nice to have something at this time of year to focus on, and it’s always good to go out and do something a bit different, especially when its for such a good cause.”

Golden Jubilee and Andrew Nicholson (nearside) finishing the charity race with Rainy Day and Clifford Baker far side

Golden Jubilee and Andrew Nicholson (nearside) finishing the charity race with Rainy Day and Clifford Baker far side

H&H visited Andrew in his preparations for the race and he said there were no big surprises for him on the day.

“It’s similar to eventing in many ways — you go and see the owners and then focus on your ride,” he added.

Riding in the race of course was different, having to be aware of what’s around you — normally I just have to worry about myself getting around the corners.

“It was great getting ready in the weighing room too — seeing how professionals in other disciplines prepare.

“I really enjoyed the whole build-up — training at Nigel’s [Twiston-Davies], riding out with Barry Geraghty at Nicky Henderson’s and being put through my paces by AP McCoy and learning how to race-ride.”

Andrew shares a joke with trainer Nigel Twiston-Davies and Robert Waley-Cohen

Andrew shares a joke with trainer Nigel Twiston-Davies and Robert Waley-Cohen

The race was run for what was expected to be the final time this year, and has raised more than £1.2m for charity since its inception.

The other riders were Clifford Baker, Lucy Charnock, Simon Clare, Phillip Clark, Jonathan Mills, Olive Murphy, Hayley O’Connor, Emily Scott, Rod Trow and Thomas Williams.

“We are incredibly grateful to all those who rode in and supported the race,” said Lisa Hancock of the IJF.

“The amount of money raised is incredible and, with Jack Berry House [a rehabilitation centre in Malton] nearing completion, could not have come at a better time.”

andrew nicholson cheltenham 12-3-15

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