Riders announced for the St Patrick’s Day Charity Derby

  • A Channel 4 racing presenter, a banker, a Sheikh and a student are among the dozen chosen riders taking part in the St Patrick’s Derby next year.

    The charity race is run at The Festival at Cheltenham on 13 March 2014.

    The race has raised over £800,000 for Cancer Research UK over the past 5 years.

    Among this year’s riders are Channel 4 Racing, BBC and Racing UK presenter Rishi Persad, who will be in training over the winter after what he admits is “many years out of the saddle”.

    All the riders have their own personal motivations for taking part in the race. Amateur showjumper Sheikh Samir Mirdad’s wife is currently recovering from the illness.

    Morgan Stanley banker, Kieran Ryan has been riding for 10 years and has taken part in the Newmarket Town Plate 3 times. His father, who was also passionate about racing, died of cancer two years ago.

    From the racing world, the line-up includes development director at Great British Racing, Nigel Roddis, Emma Cook, who works at Cheltenham racecourse, point-to-point trainer, Heather Kemp, Irish trainer Bernadette Murphy and assistant trainer to David Bridgwater, Lucy Bridgwater.

    Also in the saddle are Co Meath businessman Douglas Taylor, student Tom O’Neill, who uncle Jonjo had cancer, Michelle Turner, a director at Pertemps, and Cheltenham businesswoman Alexia Buckwell, who was diagnosed with primary lymphoedema in her left leg after the birth of her first child.

    Sophia Brudenell, from Cheltenham racecourse said: “We wanted to ensure that we have a mix of people riding from both the racing industry and those who ride either as a hobby or in another equine sport.”

    She hopes that the 2014 race will push the total amount of money raised by Cheltenham for Cancer Research UK to over £1m.

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