On Saturday, 11th May 2019, we were pleased to host The Blind Racegoers Club, an organisation that was founded over 40 years ago by equine artist, Caroline Ramsden.
She discovered that some of the blind people for whom she read books were interested in horse racing so she organised a party of 12 blind people with some carers to go to a London race meeting.
When Caroline died in 1980, her friend, Valerie Freedman, took over the running of the club - Valerie being the wife of Louis Freedman, the owner of “Reference Point”, the horse that won the King George race in 1987.
Thanks to Valerie, funds were raised, ring fenced and invested by the RNIB and together with a successful bid for a lottery grant, the club continues.
The Club’s history with Ascot started with an invitation from De Beers, then sponsors of the King George & Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes at Ascot, to join a luncheon with the Chelsea Pensioners. Members were then presented to Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother and this event continued until her death.
The Club today is managed by Bruce Barham who continues to organise activities for the Club, including the group’s annual pilgrimage to Ascot.