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Jump and Flat jockeys to go head-to-head at Olympia

Jump jockeys will go head-to-head with their Flat counterparts in a special class at Olympia this December.

The Markel Champions Challenge is in aid of the Injured Jockeys Fund (IJF) — the official charity of this year’s show.

The challenge will see the jockeys battling it out, with a showjumper on each team.

They will face a serious of challenges from jumps to Pony Club-style games.

Markel’s ambassador jockeys, Gold Cup winner Sam Thomas and Classic winner William Buick (pictured) are among the riders confirmed as taking part.

Lisa Hancock, chief executive of the IJF, said the competition “is sure to provide a fun and highly competitive spectacle for the crowd.”

Simon Brooks-Ward, director of Olympia, The London International Horse Show, added: “We are very pleased to be supporting the Injured Jockeys Fund this year. It is a charity that does tremendous work for riders — not just in horseracing but across all equestrian sports.

“The Markel Champions Challenge for the IJF will see professional jockeys demonstrating their equine skills in an event which promises to be great fun. It will be a great spectacle which is sure to entertain the Olympia audience, as well as hopefully raising lots of money for a very worthy cause.”

Since it was founded in 1964, the IJF has given over £17m to 1,000 jockeys whose injuries have forced some of them to give up riding.

The charity’s already has one rehab centre — Oaksey House in Lambourn — an a second, Jack Berry House in Yorkshire, is due to open next spring.

Laura Collett spent time at Oaksey House last summer while recovering from her serious fall.

More information on the Injured Jockeys Fund

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