Sheikh Fahad Al Thani
Such was the thrill of training for and riding in the Limerick and Ascot races that I want to ride in more races, if I can. Qatar Racings’ Irish representative, Peter Molony, introduced me to the work of the Irish Injured Jockeys ahead of the race at Limerick in 2015. It is a privilege to help those jockeys who have been seriously injured.
I have ridden charity races, flat and hurdle, since 1989 so at this stage I am a bit long in the tooth, shattered and battered! One of the best experiences was finishing third in a hurdle race in Clonmel for amateur riders and being led into the parade ring by my grandson Daragh. It was a very proud moment but they are still awaiting my first win!!! Maybe this is my time? On a more serious note, recent accidents have heightened my awareness of the risk a jockey takes each time he or she races. The need to help in some way and knowing the support provided by Irish Injured Jockeys spurred me on to participate in The Corinthian Challenge. I want to help in a way I know best! So move over and make room for the “Old Clydesdale”! Donate to Chris Byrne here
The Corinthian Challenge is a fantastic initiative to fundraise for the Irish Injured Jockeys as well as a personal challenge to raise the money and ride in three races. I have known about the charity since inception and have wanted to lend a hand in whatever possible. I have ridden out for flat trainers since I was 13 and have won the Newmarket Town Plate twice – he was an amazing horse!! So that means I have a 100% record which I would dearly like to retain…let’s see what happens! Donate to Sophie Candy here
How many races have I competed in…none! No pressure – will take this in my stride. I have hunted horses for a number of years and ride out at the yard of the Shark Hanlon. I am a racing addict and a closet jockey. I go to the main festivals including Galway, Listowel and Cheltenham every year as I simply love going racing. Over the last couple of years I have followed Irish Injured Jockeys on Twitter and Facebook and have seen the great work they are doing. I want to give more than a few bob donation so here I am riding in The Corinthian Challenge. At weekends and the big festivals I work with Seamus Mulvaney, bookmaker, so maybe a journey “from the betting ring to the parade ring” might work! Donate to Neil Corkery here
As a journalist I am very lucky to have a living in my sport of choice. In the not so distant past, I rode in and won the Punchestown Charity Race in 2010 and 2011. In light of recent injuries, I want to lend my riding skills to this great cause and initiative in aid of Irish Injured Jockeys. I look forward to the challenge, the training and the trials and tribulations of it all. A fantastic opportunity to ride again. Bring it on! Donate to Niall Cronin here
Taking part in the Corinthian Challenge was one of the highlights of my career, I had always wanted to be a jockey but as I grew too big, and so I had to choose a different work path. Through my work I was able to call on the support of many in the insurance industry to take part and raise the funds and try something that had alluded me for 35 years.
Riding for different trainers and getting the privilege of visiting their yards and riding out was a fantastic insight into the racing world. The excitement will live long in my memory. Thanks to all the team at the Irish Injured Jockeys Fund. Thanks also to Christy Roche, Johnny Murtagh, Jim Bolger, Dermot Weld and Aidan and Joseph O’Brien for their support. Donate to Eamonn Egan here
Sally Ann Grassick
Growing up in racing I’ve known many friends who have been injured riding and have seen the impact on their lives. I rode in Cheltenham the day JT McNamara was injured and it affected me badly. Since then I’ve wanted to do something for Irish Injured Jockeys so when The Corinthian Challenge was announced I signed up immediately. I rode in the Cancer Research Charity Race in Cheltenham 2013 and raised over £50,000. Let’s see what I can do for Irish Injured Jockeys. Delighted to fulfill my desire to be help. Donate to Sally Ann Grassick here
I have been involved in racing all my life as my family breed race-horses and always had horses in training. At the moment I am a student at CAFRE College in Enniskillen to further my career in the bloodstock industry. I have seen the great work Irish Injured Jockeys do and it is good to know that if my brother, an amateur rider, ever needed it, he would get the best care possible. So what better way to help raise awareness and donations for this charity than to participate in The Corinthian Challenge? And it gives me the opportunity to experience racing from the saddle as I have experience in every other element of racing. Donate to Alice Kavanagh here
It was a great privilege to ride in the 2016 series, raising money for a brilliant cause. The experience to ride at three of Ireland’s 1st class racecourses was brilliant and was well worth all the effort. Donate to Killian McCarthy here
It’s a very worthy cause and close to me having grown up in the industry. As I am friends with most of the jockeys I am very aware of the risks they take in their passion for horseracing. Am I a contender for The Corinthian Challenge? I would like to think I have as good a chance as the rest having ridden in three schooling bumpers and the Punchestown Charity Race 2016. If not, I can always pursue my hidden talent and further my career as a disc jockey rather than a racehorse jockey!
I had such a great experience riding Rock the World at the Curragh last July. The atmosphere was amazing and the goodwill and support fantastic. It was very special to be able to support such an important organisation, and I hope many more will come forward and take part in the 2017 series. I was so privileged that Jessie and Michael Buckley allowed me to ride the horse, and it was so special to ride on the track that saw my father ride such memorable victories.
I grew up on the Curragh, and rode all my life – my father was a trainer and indeed one of the founders of RACE where Irish Injured Jockeys is located. Racing is in my DNA and has been for generations back. The Corinthian Challenge has captured my imagination simply because it’s such a relatively small industry and difficult to raise funds amongst the wider audience – horse racing and motor racing are the only sports where an ambulance follows the action! Jockeys risk accident and injury every time they get legged up in the parade ring. The public hear about the very successful guys but there are the other 90% who struggle to make a living and keep their fingers crossed they don’t get broken up. I know a lot of people who love racing and indeed have enjoyed a lot of success on the track and I’ll be encouraging them HARD to give a bit back to the guys who give them so much enjoyment! Donate to Suzy Quirke here