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14 July 2021

Unable to rely on horsepower for once, Clarissa and Henry Daly are putting their best feet forward to run The Vitality Big Half in London next month for Racing Welfare. Clarissa explains the motivation to give back to the charity that has done so much for colleague Helen Brisland.

On May 15th 2018 Helen Brisland, Henry’s Travelling Head Person, had a life- changing accident on the gallops. She was flown to the QE2 Hospital in Birmingham unable to feel anything from her neck down.

In her own words, it was ‘a silly little fall’. Her horse bucked at the bottom of the gallops and Helen fell awkwardly. The Paramedics and Air Ambulance were on the scene within 10 minutes and Helen was in the Intensive Care Unit in Birmingham within the hour.

After a week Helen was moved to the Robert Jones Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital in Oswestry.

Helen’s fighting spirit

From that first day, Helen has made incredible progress showing real determination and strength – and against the odds. She first felt her big toe about three weeks after the accident. She has not stopped fighting, constantly moving, exercising and pushing herself.

Helen started working for Capt Tim Forster in 1994 when Henry was his assistant. Henry took over in 1998 and Helen progressed to become Travelling Head Person. It is a testament to Helen and highlights the camaraderie of those who work in racing, that recently she went on a mini-break with a number of other travelling head people she used to see regularly at the races.

Racing’s support network at its best

Throughout the last three years a lot of people and organisations have shown Helen incredible support but none more than Racing Welfare.

Racing Welfare’s care extended to her family, to Henry and to all the team at Downton Hall Stables. Helen worked so hard to get back on her feet and Racing Welfare were with her every step of the way.

Now it’s our turn

Henry hasn’t run anywhere since he left school other than 21 yards on a cricket pitch – his bat doing the other yard. I haven’t run – ever. We started running very tentatively in lockdown in order to get away from each other.

This challenge landed in our inboxes one sunny day many months ago. It seemed a long way off and perfectly do-able for two mid-50-year-olds. Now it’s around the corner and looks impossible!

But with Helen as our inspiration and the fact that she is training to walk the last of 13 miles with us – even virtually if necessary – we will get through the next eight weeks and on 22 August will run our first – and last – half marathon!

So please support us. Racing Welfare is an amazing charity. We can’t prevent life-changing accidents happening, but we can help the outcome. Racing Welfare are there to pick up the pieces and so much more. Our target is £20,000 and we are well on the way to that amount – thank you. Every penny raised will go towards helping someone who really needs it. The least we can do is run 13 miles!!

To Donate:

Pictured: 10K Race in Ludlow on Saturday and Helen at Warwick Racecourse when her beloved Stoney Mountain won. This was her first outing.

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