Brave point-to-point jockeys have stripped off in the name of charity to raise money for the Injured Jockeys Fund (IJF).
This gave jockey Leanda Tickle the “kick up the backside” to start organising a team of ladies to take part in a charity calendar.
“I thought ‘if they can do that, then surely we can do something as good that can bring in as much money, if not more’,” she told H&H.
Leanda added that she initially spoke to point-to-point supporter and PR specialist David Simpson about it around 18 months ago and the pair started to pull the idea together after a conversation at a point-to-point last season.
“I started putting the feelers out and asked a few girls at the races [if they would like to be involved] and loads said yes,” she said.
“So I thought ‘that’s it, we’re doing it!’”
David originally set out to do the PR, and help raise sponsorship money, but the ladies asked if he would also be their photographer.
The jockeys took part in six photoshoots at venues including Stratford racecourse and Claire Hardwick’s Fern Farm in the Cotswolds and David took more than 1,000 photos.
The calendar has a racing theme, with scenarios including weighing in, saddling a racehorse, walking a course and taking bets.
“We’ve all had such fun in doing it,” said Leanda.
However, as with all the best laid plans, unforeseen situations arose, giving some racecourse staff and an unsuspecting choir more than they bargained for during photoshoots at Stratford.
“Some of the ground staff at Stratford had an eyeful during our first shoot and we over-ran with another shoot,” David told H&H.
“Not a problem, you might think, but a full choir turned up to use the grandstand for practice — while we still had 10 naked ladies in the parade ring!”
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As well as Leanda, the line-up includes national ladies’ point-to-point champion Gina Ellis (nee Andrews), Claire Hardwick, Tabitha Worsley, Jodie Hughes, Phine Banks, Immy Robinson, Lilly Pinchin and Rachel Talbot.
The calendar, which is described as “classy with a touch of humour”, will be on sale for £10 from October via Leanda or David.
It will also be available at the early season point-to-point fixtures, the Point-to-Point Awards dinner on 11 November at Cheltenham’s November meeting, formerly known as The Open.
Sponsorship, from both within and outside the pointing and racing community, has covered the costs, so all money raised will go to charity.
“[The IJF] is a charity which is close to all of our hearts, and while we hope we won’t ever need it, one day we might,” said Leanda.
“It isn’t just jockeys that they help — that is what is so incredible about them, they are so open and welcoming.”
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