A soldier beat a host of famous faces from the equestrian world during the Pertemps Champions Willberry Charity Race held at Cheltenham yesterday (20 April).
Ben Moore, who partnered the David Pipe-trained Three Star General, said he was riding for his young daughter, Grace (pictured, below) who is battling leukaemia — the former conditional jockey having also fought cancer himself.
The 12 riders were selected from more than 600 applicants and raised approximately £110,00 for charities, The Bob Champion Cancer Trust and Hannah Francis’ Willberry Wonder Pony charity.
“It has simply been an unbelievable day. The atmosphere has been electric and what a race those 12 riders gave us,” said Bob Champion. “We are so delighted to have raised so much and must continue to do so, as we fight this terrible disease that effects so many people indiscriminately.”
Click here to donate money to the worthwhile causes.
The 39-year-old winning rider, who is based in Melton Mowbray, said he and his daughter decided he should apply for the challenge while he was in hospital receiving treatment.
He beat Sheikh Fahad Al Thani — from the famous Qatar Racing dynasty — aboard the David Simcock-trained New World Power into the runner-up spot.
The remaining riders were closely grouped behind including Olympians Mark Todd and Tina Cook, racing presenter Alice Fox-Pitt and event rider Ben Hobday — the latter beat cancer having been diagnosed in 2015.
“It was great fun and they were a fantastic bunch of people. It was so brilliant that Ben won the race,” said Mark.
Many racegoers, plus the jockeys’ families, enjoyed the “emotional” occasion at the home of National Hunt racing in Gloucestershire.
They were also treated to a display of equine superstars with William Fox-Pitt’s Chilli Morning, dressage hero Valegro, the former Nicky Henderson-trained Sprinter Sacre and Nick Skelton’s Olympic mount Big Star parading in the paddock before the charity race.
For all the latest news analysis, competition reports, interviews, features and much more, don’t miss Horse & Hound magazine, on sale every Thursday.