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Twelve ladies will be donning habits this October for a side-saddle race with a twist — it will be the first one on a British racecourse.

The charity race will be over 1m2f on the Flat and the riders will be kitted out in habit, silks and crash hats.

The race has been organised by Philippa Holland (pictured), who is behind the Dianas of the Chase Cup, a side-saddle race over jumps across hunting country.

It will take place at Wincanton racecourse in Somerset.

“It’s the first time a side-saddle race has taken part on the track, and we have approval from the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) to run it as a charity race ahead of racing,” she told H&H.

“We wanted to do something a little bit different to raise the profile of the sport as well as having the chance to gallop at speed down a racecourse.

“Riding side-saddle is a magical feeling — it’s as if you’re being taken back in time and if you are on the right horse, it can feel as if you’re floating.”

The 12 riders will be chosen from applications, which must be received by 24 August.

“Most will be on ex-racehorses,” added Philippa. “And the riders must be of a good standard, as it’s harder to stay on when going fast than jumping over fences.”

The race will be held at Wincanton on Sunday 25 October in aid of the Southern Spinal Injuries Trust.

The riders will parade in the paddock at 11.45 before the race is off at midday

The cross-country Dianas of The Chase Cup will run as usual at Ingarsby Old Hall in Leicestershire on Sunday 29 November. The first race was held in February 2013.

For more information visit: http://www.ssit.org.uk/whats_on/raceday-lunch-at-wincanton-racecourse/