Walking long distances for charity may be child’s play for Jack Lander, 12, who alongside his schoolwork and riding-out commitments is now planning to conquer Mount Kilimanjaro, and he’s on the look-out for recruits.
I got into racing when I watched Frankel win the 2000 Guineas at Newmarket. I was only five but I knew after watching the racing that I wanted to be a jockey when I was older. I nagged mom and dad for ages to take me to learn to ride and I’m 12 now and still love riding, and still want to be a jockey. I’m very lucky to ride out for Ian Williams and Tom Gretton each weekend.
When I was seven, I was jumping my pony, River, and he ducked out at one of the jumps and threw me into the wing, it hurt a lot. I used to watch the racing on TV and I realised what the jockeys must go through if they fall and how they get better. After some help from my parents we found out about the Injured Jockeys Fund and that’s when I knew I wanted to help them and wanted to raise money to help the jockeys.
For my first challenge I decided to walk from Stratford Racecourse to Oaksey House, the Injured Jockeys Fund Rehabilitation Centre in Lambourn, which is 56 miles. It was hard because I was only 9 and we did it in 5 days, but it was ace because I was raising money for the Injured Jockeys Fund and I raised over £13,500.
I met this great guy called Richard Farquhar who was doing this amazing walk around all the racecourses in the UK for Racing Welfare. This was the first time I had heard about Racing Welfare and when I understood what they did I wanted to help them, too, as my sister was starting in racing. So… for my second challenge I wanted to support the Injured Jockeys Fund and Racing Welfare.
My second walk was from Newmarket Racecourse to Jack Berry House, the other Injured Jockeys Fund Rehabilitation Centre in Malton, Yorkshire. It was 172 miles and took me 8 days. It was so hard walking about 20 miles a day, but it was ace to raise £8,000 each for both the IJF and Racing Welfare.
For my third challenge, I need your help! I am climbing Kilimanjaro next year and we fly out on the 27th June. This time the money raised will be for the Injured Jockeys Fund, Racing Welfare, Racing To School and the Irish Injured Jockeys – these are great racing charities and all mean a lot to me.
I would really like some more people to join me for the climb. We are going with Classic Challenge and we all have to pay for ourselves and raise £4,000 sponsorship. So far, I have 9 people coming with me, and ideally I would really like to take 20 people with me to do it, which would be ace. I want everyone to help each other during the challenge so that we can all complete it!
Even if you can’t join me on the climb, you can still help. If you know of a company that would like to sponsor the trek or even some clothing for the trekkers, then they can have their logos associated with a great charity challenge. I really hope that there will be a lot of positive publicity surrounding my latest adventure.
Thank you for reading my Kilimanjaro Blog and keep checking back with the Racing Together website as they will carry updates of all our Horsing Around on Kilimanjaro!