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15 August 2019

Racing staff to benefit from team running all 26 Irish racecourses

Andre Klein and Tommy Williams from Warwick Racecourse, along with Simon Cooper from Weatherbys have completed their challenge to run around all 26 racecourses in Ireland, beating their £3,000 fundraising target in the process.

Designated driver for the journey was Warwick’s Clerk of the Course, Jane Hedley, who drove just over 1000 miles on the trip, as well as running round the final track on each day.

Starting at The Curragh at 7am on Tuesday morning, the team attempted to finish all 26 tracks before 7pm on Thursday evening, allowing for 60 hours in total. They crossed the finish line at Leopardstown at 6.49pm, 6 minutes within their target and ahead of the start of the Ballyroan Stakes.

The team were raising funds for Racing Welfare, the charity committed to supporting and offering professional guidance to those who work in horseracing across the United Kingdom. The charity offers a range of services covering physical and mental health, careers, debt and benefits, retirement and housing, in addition to organising hundreds of social and sporting events each year to bring racing communities together.

Andre said: “We recognise the challenges that people working in racing face every day, from the stud and stable staff to those working in office-based roles, and we were keen to put back into the industry we are all so passionate about!”

Andre and Simon had previously run around all 52 of the Thoroughbred racecourses in New Zealand in 2012 to raise money for spinal injury research and this is where the idea came from.

“It was an incredible experience. We ran around 9 tracks on Tuesday, 9 on Wednesday and then 8 on Thursday, totalling just over 33 miles of running.

“The Irish hospitality is something else – it was very hard to stick to our time schedules when we were greeted with a huge welcome at nearly every track! The courses in Ireland are hugely diverse and the TV pictures don’t really do their idiosyncrasies justice!” Tommy said.

“We would like to say a massive thank you to everyone who has donated so far, along with our sponsors Hy-Kleen of Warwick & Racing Breaks.”

There’s still time to donate to Racing Welfare by following the link – www.justgiving.com/fundraising/racing-welfeire

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