Trainer’s wife pledges support to others in husband’s memory

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  • The wife of Richard Woollacott has pledged to help others struggling with mental illness following the trainer’s death.

    Kayley Woollacott has launched a fundraising page in memory of her late husband.

    Money raised will be split between Mind, the Injured Jockeys Fund and the Devon Air Ambulance.

    “I would like to thank everyone for their messages of support,” said Mrs Woollacott.

    “The racing industry has shown a huge amount of compassion for Richard and us during this tragic time.

    “Richard was a much-loved husband, father, son, brother and friend. He was also a talented jockey and trainer who achieved many amazing things.

    “Sadly, after battling with it for many years, he lost his life to mental illness.

    “While nothing will bring Richard back, I feel there is more there could, and should, be done to help others.

    “I have therefore established an online fundraising site in aid of three important charities in Richard’s memory.”

    Beer Goggles will run in the Cleeve Hurdle at Cheltenham tomorrow (Saturday, 27 January) in memory of the late trainer.

    A minute’s silence will happen at 3.20pm, 15 minutes ahead of the start of the race.

    Envelopes for donations to the three chosen charities will also be available at tomorrow’s meeing.

    “Whilst it will be a very emotional day for everybody, it is important that we celebrate all of Richard’s hard work and continue with his plan for this special horse,” she added.

    “I’d welcome everyone to attend in support.

    “The Jockey Club and Great British Racing have been hugely supportive and will pay tribute to Richard throughout the raceday in aiding these fundraising efforts.”

    Mr Woollacott died on Tuesday (23 January) aged 40.

    He had been saddling runners under Rules since 2008 and achieved a total of 60 winners, including Beer Goggles in the Grade Two Long Distance Hurdle at Newbury in December.

    He was also a very successful point-to-point jockey, riding 248 winners between the flags plus 14 in hunter chases.

    Mr Woollacott, a former Horse & Hound point-to-point columnist, won the Devon & Cornwall point-to-point championship nine times and the national title in 2010.

    Tributes have been paid from across the racing and pointing communities.

    British Horseracing Authority chief executive Nick Rust said the organisation is doing all it can to support Mr Woollacott’s family.

    “We were all devastated to hear the news about Richard Woollacott,” said Mr Rust.

    “It is simply tragic to lose someone so young, and who had so much to offer both the racing world and, more importantly, his young family.

    “We are in contact with Richard’s family and are doing all we can to support them and assist with ongoing arrangements with his yard.

    “Most importantly though, our thoughts and condolences are with his family, friends and indeed all the horses who Richard cared for in his all-too-short time as a trainer, and who will no doubt miss him greatly.”

    To donate, visit: https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/SomeoneSpecial/RichardWoollacott

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