On Sunday 29thMarch 2015 Their Royal Highnesses The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall joined more than 11,000 people to enjoy the inaugural Prince’s Countryside Fund Raceday.
The event compromised a full day of exciting jump racing, including AP McCoy’s final appearance at Ascot Racecourse before his retirement, alongside a wide range of countryside inspired activities, Easter entertainment and a charity luncheon for over 620 guests. The event raised more than £370,000 to help The Prince’s Countryside Fund continue its vital work funding projects to support the people who live and work in our countryside.
Mark Price, Chairman of The Prince’s Countryside Fund and Managing Director of Waitrose, said‘Sunday’s event was immensely successful for The Prince’s Countryside Fund. Not only did we raise a fantastic amount for the charity but we also had the opportunity to share with racegoers and the wider racing community the valuable work we are doing to help secure a sustainable future for British farming and the countryside.’
Guy Henderson, Chief Executive at Ascot Racecourse, said“With some 11,000 visitors through the gates on Sunday, the atmosphere was fantastic. We are proud to support this invaluable charity, which was set up in 2010 by HRH The Prince of Wales to help secure a brighter future for those in need in rural Britain. In its short history, the Fund has provided some £5 million to 120 projects, directly benefitting 100,000 people
“As we close the book on another fabulous jumps season here we also say thank you to the great A P McCoy, who is retiring from riding this Spring. A P rode at Ascot for the last time on Sunday and finished his career with a fantastic 107 Ascot winners. The last of which he landed in the main race of the day, aboard Un Ace, with a classic last gasp win from a seemingly impossible position at the last.”
Horses were not the only animals competing - sheep taking part in the ‘Campaign for Wool Lamb National’ amazed racegoers as they leaped over hurdles on a specially designed course.
There was a whole host of countryside themed activity for all the family to enjoy in Ascot’s first family day of the year. Further highlights included a magnificent falconry display, the hilarious duck herding ‘Quack Pack’, and as an Easter treat - Lindt hosted a Gold Bunny Easter Hunt. The Fund’s Celebrity Ambassadors Phil Vickery MBE, Alan Titchmarsh MBE, Sally Gunnell OBE and Alex James also attended to show their support for the charity and Ascot’s Colts & Fillies Club* ambassadors, TV presenters Ant & Dec also held a live chat in the Parade Ring.
*The Colts & Fillies Club, which currently has over 16,000 members, aims to bring horseracing to the next generation of racing enthusiasts by making the sport accessible and fun. It is free to join for children aged 16 and under and members can enjoy dedicated family days at Ascot, with specifically tailored activities exclusively for Colts and Fillies members.
Joining the club couldn’t be easier, just log on to the Colts & Fillies section atwww.ascot.co.ukand complete the online joining form.