Coach to take on gruelling Ironman Wales in aid of paralysed jockey

  • An equine sports coach is tackling the Ironman Wales challenge on 18 September to raise funds for a jockey who broke his neck in a point-to-point.

    Emma Carpenter, 46, will swim 2.5 miles in the sea off  Tenby, then cycle 112 miles, on terrain that climbs more than 2,000m. She will finish by running a full marathon over the Welsh hills.

    She is raising funds for Ed Barrett, 27, who is paralysed after a fall in April 2015 at a point-to-point in Devon.

    Mr Barrett (pictured, above) spent a year after his life-changing fall at Oaksey House, the Injured Jockeys Fund rehabilitation centre in Lambourn.

    This summer he returned home to a bungalow on his family’s farm in Worcestershire, where his mother has a riding school.

    “I met Ed when he was 12 years old, when teaching him in the Clifton-on-Teme Hunt Pony Club. I helped him achieve his ‘A’ test and his teaching qualifications,” said Mrs Carpenter.

    “Ed always wanted to be a jockey, he went down to Devon to my brother Ed Walker’s yard which he runs with Polly Gundry, had five happy years there, before joining Henry Daley’s establishment on Clee Hill as assistant trainer.”

    Four years ago Mrs Carpenter completed an Ironman event in Nottingham for Guy Disney, another injured former ex-pupil, but she says the Welsh is a much tougher challenge.

    “People come from all over the world to do it because it is renowned as the one to conquer. The weather is so unpredictable, the strong winds can make the sea swim and cycle very challenging,” she said.

    For the last nine months she has spent four to five hours training a day.


    There will be some 1,000 other competitors, all aiming to complete the challenge within the 17-hour time limit.

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    “It’s been hardcore, but I’m ready for it,” said Mrs Carpenter, who co-runs Baggy Breeches, set up to give nutritional advice to jockeys to help them reach their desired weight.

    Local hunts and point-to-points, particularly the West Midlands Area, have been very supportive, as have owners and trainers associated with Ed Barrett.

    So far £6,500 has been raised; the target is £10,000.

    To donate, click here. To donate to the IJF, H&H‘s charity of the year, click here.

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