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27 October 2023

Chloe Humphries dreams of riding in a race were put on hold 10 years ago however, this weekend those dreams will become a reality.  

Chloe will line up to make her debut in the saddle in the Bob Champion Cancer Trust Charity Race when she will partner Rare Middleton for her boss Paul Nicholls. Wincanton last held a charity race in 2021 and it saw the Nicholls’ team emerge victorious with a 1-2 when Sarah West and Celestial Force got the better of Hannah Roche and Wise Glory. 

This year a field of 10 will participate in the event with all proceeds going towards the cancer charity which was set up in 1983 by retired jockey, and cancer survivor, Bob Champion, two years after steering Aldaniti to glory in the Grand National at Aintree.   

Humphries, 29 from Shepton Mallet, said: “I wanted to ride in point-to-points when I was younger and Paul (Nicholls) gave me a horse called Mr Hudson about 10 years ago to have a go at it with, but it turns out it is really expensive to do when you are only a teenage stable girl.   

“When Paul asked if I would like to ride in this race about seven weeks ago I said I would love to.   

“I’m fairly fit as I ride out every day, but I’ve been for a couple of runs as well, although I do hate running. However, everything seems fine fitness wise.   

“At the moment it is more nerves over excitement, but I hope on the day that will switch around as I don’t want to get anything wrong on the day.”   

She added: “I’ve not personally been affected by what cancer can do but it is vital raising money for charities like this as it is really important to be aware of cancer and all the things associated with it.   

“We had Rose Loxton in the yard, and she unfortunately lost her battle with cancer. Rose was a big inspiration to everyone and it is nice to be able to do a race like this for such a worthwhile charity.    

“Everyone has been really encouraging and I’ve raised over two and a half thousand pounds already which I’m quite surprised about so I must be more popular than I thought!”  

Since she returned to Ditcheat four years ago following a stints with Alan King and in Australia, the list of horses under her care would be the envy of many with the likes of Grade One winners Greaneteen and Stage Star among those she looks after.   

She added: “I learned to ride when I was eight and I went to the British Racing School after leaving school and did the nine-week course there. I was then placed with Paul where I spent five years before working elsewhere.  

“During my first stint with Paul I led up Qualando at the Cheltenham Festival in the 2015 Fred Winter (Juvenile Handicap Hurdle), while I also looked after Ptit Zig and Celestial Halo, and then last year at the Festival I led up Stage Star in the Turners’ Novices’ Chase.   

“I’ve ridden some lovely horses here and I’m lucky that I ride the likes of Greaneteen every day and Knappers Hill.  

“Every single one of the horses I looked after last season won at least a Grade Two which was great.  

“Seeing Solo win was probably the most exciting of them all though as he hadn’t won a race in more than two years before winning at Sandown. I’d say Solo is my favourite horse as he is quite a special character.”  

And although Humphries hopes she can emerge victorious she admits keeping the boss happy will be a good result.   

She added: “Sarah West pipped Hannah Roche in the race a couple of years ago so I think it adds a bit more pressure on me, plus it is all I’ve been talking about for the last seven weeks.   

“First place is the position I’m after, but they say it is the taking part that counts. Rare Middleton is a useful horse that is rated 117 so hopefully he won’t need to much pushing.   

“As long as I can raise a good bit of money and please the boss then I will be happy.”  

To sponsor Chloe, please click HERE  

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