A paralysed former stable lad is set to embark on a 110 mile journey to raise money for the charity he says saved his life.
Paul ‘Barney’ Bamford will cross Yorkshire in his specialist handcycle aiming to raise £100,000 for Racing Welfare.
Barney, who lives near Sheffield with his wife and two children, will set off from Redcar racecourse today (Monday 14 May) and is set to arrive at Doncaster racecourse on Saturday 19 May.
The 41-year-old fell off in 2006 while working for trainer Les Eyre. He was left paralysed from the chest down.
Racing Welfare funded his airlift to the spinal injuries unit at the Northern General Hospital in Sheffield immediately after his accident.
The charity has since helped him with specialist housing, wheelchairs, standing frames and retraining courses.
Barney said: “I wouldn’t be here without Racing Welfare, they have helped me so much since my accident.
“Many people who watch racing only see jockeys falling. They don’t know that the majority of accidents happen to stable staff out on the gallops or in stable yards.”
During his journey he will visit racing yards, the racehorse training centre of Malton and York Racecourse for the Betfred Dante meeting.
Racing Welfare’s Richard Negus said: “Barney is one of the 600 plus stable staff who are seriously injured each year. The lads and lasses behind the scenes in racing are all too often the forgotten people in the sport.”
Barney’s journey, in his specially adapted arm-powered tricycle, equates to five marathons in six days.
“Personally I think he is crazy going all that way in his wheelchair, I’m glad that I am merely driving his support vehicle, they don’t make many people as tough as Barney,” added Richard.
To donate, visit www.JustGiving.com/BarneysChallenge or http://www.racingwelfare.co.uk/