‘We want to honour Katie’s life’: family raises thousands for charity with home-bred racehorse

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  • A family devastated by the death of their daughter this year are putting a horse up for syndication to raise funds for and awareness of cervical cancer.

    South Warwickshire racehorse breeder and trainer Peter Pritchard has donated his home-bred thoroughbred Katie Sunny Dancer to racehorse ownership platform Old Gold Racing for syndication, with the the aim of raising over £40,000 for research into gynaecological cancers and awareness about symptoms.

    Peter lost his 37-year-old daughter Katie, a nurse manager and mother of two young children, to cervical cancer this summer. Having spotted a lump, Katie referred herself to a gynaecologist for a second opinion. She was told the devastating news that the lump was a symptom of cervical cancer.

    She underwent a course of radiotherapy, chemotherapy and brachytherapy in the spring of 2022 and initially the cancer responded positively to the treatment. But last December, further scans revealed the cancer had returned and that she only had a few months to live. Katie died in June, leaving her husband and two children.

    “We want to spread awareness about this deadly disease”

    To honour his daughter’s memory, and to raise funds to further research into cervical cancer, the Katie’s Legacy Syndicate has been set up, with Peter’s home-bred Katie Sunny Dancer going to Banbury trainer Alex Hales. For a one-off fee of £60 to join the mare’s first syndicate term, anyone interested can help the Pritchard family raise funds as one of 2,000 syndicate members under the banner of the Katie’s Legacy Syndicate.

    “While nothing can replace the void Katie’s passing has left behind, we want to honour her life and her story by spreading awareness about this deadly disease, which so many disregard the early signs of,” said Peter Pritchard. “By combining Katie’s love of horses with our ambition to make a difference, we hope Katie Sunny Dancer will contribute to the advancement of research into cervical cancer, so others do not have to go through Katie’s ordeal.”

    Katie Sunny Dancer is a four-year-old filly by Group Two-winning stallion Passing Glance, out of the Anshan mare Earcomesannie, a four-time winner, and breeder Peter has had a lot of success with the family. She is a prospective National Hunt horse and it his hoped she will make her racecourse debut in early spring.

    The Katie's Legacy Syndicate with mare Katie Sunny Dancer

    The Katie’s Legacy Syndicate mare Katie Sunny Dancer, who will be trained by Alex Hales.

    Old Gold Racing hopes to raise £40,000 for three charities. Half will go to the Lady Garden Foundation, a gynaecological cancer charity which aims to dismantle taboos, raise awareness and gather funds for research. The remaining £20,000 will be directed to Jo’s Cervical Trust, a charity focused on raising awareness about cervical screenings, the HPV vaccine, cell changes and cervical cancer, and on providing support services to people like the Pritchard family affected by cervical cancer.

    Old Gold Racing will also commit a further £9,000 of its fee to The Myton Hospice, which cared for Katie in her final days.

    “We are so moved to have been selected as the beneficiaries of this charitable drive – especially upon hearing Katie’s tragic story,” said Jenny Halpern Prince MBE, co-founder and chair of The Lady Garden Foundation. “In the UK, around 3,100 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer each year and it’s the most common cancer in women under 35 years old. It is so important that this cause gets as much funding as possible and we are incredibly grateful to Peter and his family for helping us on our mission.”

    Louise Newton, trustee at Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust, said: “We are so very saddened to hear the devastating news that Katie lost her life to this cancer, as did my wonderful friend Jo, 25 years ago. We are honoured to be part of celebrating Katie’s life and we are dedicated to improving outcomes for people like her and her family. Our mission for the past 25 years has been to support and inform all of the many women who are diagnosed with cervical cancer every year in the UK. Our vision for the future is of a day when cervical cancer is a thing of the past. This initiative will help us to work towards that goal.”

    Find out more information about the Old Gold Racing mare Katie Sunny Dancer via the website and the sale will remain open until all 2,000 syndicate membership slots have sold out.

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