On Friday 23rd November, racegoers enjoyed the fourth renewal of The Prince's Countryside Fund Raceday at Ascot, attended by TRH The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall.
Celebrating his recent 70th birthday, HRH, The Prince of Wales met supporters, ambassadors and beneficiaries of his Countryside Fund throughout the day. As part of the celebrations, HRH unveiled a magnificent bronze horse statue by Nic Fiddian-Green in the Pre-Parade Ring entitled, "Into the Wind", as well as cutting a beautifully detailed celebration cake kindly made by Fiona Cairns.
Initial estimates suggest that over the last four years over £1.3m will have been raised for the Fund, making the Ascot event the biggest fundraiser in The Prince's Countryside Fund calendar. The monies will go towards their practical work in securing a brighter future for farms and rural communities across the UK.
The event saw a full day of jumps racing and featured The Prince's Countryside Fund Charity Race, an opportunity for amateur jockeys to take on the challenge of riding on the Ascot turf.
Rosie Margarson won the race with Caribbean Spring, trained by her father George Margarson. Caribbean Spring ran well from start to finish, with Samantha Hills, riding Strategic Heights, closing behind her in second.
Between them, the 11 riders have raised in excess of £25,000 through sponsorship with the money raised helping The Fund continue its vital work.
Lord Curry of Kirkharle, Chairman of The Prince's Countryside Fund, said: "Friday's event was immensely successful. 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.
"We are incredibly grateful to the sponsors and visitors who supported the event and the team at Ascot for putting on such a memorable day."
Juliet Slot, Chief Commercial Officer at Ascot Racecourse, added: "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 £9 million to 225 projects, helping rural communities across the UK."
Thanks go to race sponsors Waitrose & Partners, Coutts, Davidstow, The David Brownlow Charitable Foundation, Tindle Newspapers, M&S Food, and The Royal Ascot Racing Club for helping to make the day such a huge success once again.