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26 August 2021

Cheltenham continues its support of charity WellChild with launch of ‘Giddy Up for Good’ Series

The Jockey Club has launched an exciting initiative in conjunction with the charity WellChild and the Cotswold Riding for the Disabled Association (RDA), giving children the opportunity to groom and ride a pony at the Home of Jump Racing, Cheltenham Racecourse.

‘Giddy Up For Good’ started on August 24th when eight WellChild-supported youngsters attended sessions led by the experienced Cotswold RDA team, whose centre is based on-site at the racecourse. Each child participated in a ‘Groom, Tack and Ride’ lesson, which not only gave them the opportunity to ride, but to spend time bonding with the ponies.

WellChild fun day at Cheltenham Racecourse with AP McCoy and RDA Cheltenham – Picture by Antony Thompson

WellChild ambassador Sir Anthony McCoy joined the children for the session to present rosettes. He was also part of the behind-the-scenes tours of the racecourse and showed the group the original 1924 Cheltenham Gold Cup.

 “It has been an incredible afternoon here at Cheltenham. As an ambassador for WellChild I know how important the support is that they offer to their families and giving children the opportunity to ride here at Cheltenham thanks to the Cotswold RDA and The Jockey Club is an unbelievable experience for them,” said McCoy.

“The children haven’t stopped smiling the whole time they have been here and it is has been a wonderful event to be a part of. I am looking forward to the next few.”

Cotswold RDA runs a variety of riding lessons and unmounted sessions from its base in the heart of Cheltenham Racecourse. Claire Jenkins, General Manager of Cotswold RDA, said: “Cotswold RDA is delighted to be working on this exciting project. We hope that this will develop into a closer working relationship between Cotswold RDA and WellChild and will make a difference to more disabled children’s lives by riding and spending time with our very special ponies.

“I would like to thank The Jockey Club for arranging this project but also for their incredible support of our work with disabled adults and children over the last four decades.”

Matt James, WellChild’s Director of Communications and Engagement added: “We would like to thank The Jockey Club and Cotswold RDA for this brilliant opportunity for our families to have an experience that they might not otherwise be able to access.

“We are delighted to be here at the racecourse with some of the Gloucestershire families we support along with our Cheltenham-based WellChild Nurse, Nina Griffiths. We are working hard to reach even more families who need us in the area both through Nina’s hard work and through our other programmes like the WellChild Family Tree peer-to-peer network, which many local families with seriously ill children are taking part in.”

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