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22 April 2024


Dedicated runners have raised valuable funds and awareness for the industry’s human welfare charity, Racing Welfare, which provides vital advice, guidance and practical support to people working in racing yards, studs, racecourses, and associated professions.

A total of ten runners, some of whom have personally benefitted from Racing Welfare’s support or who have links to the racing industry, pounded the streets of London on Sunday (21), each clocking up 26.2 miles around the iconic course. So far, they have raised an impressive £15,588 for Racing Welfare, with more funds continuing to be donated post event.

The sum raised for Racing Welfare by the intrepid runners will allow the charity to provide professional guidance and practical help and support to those who need it. The charity aims to help people, from recruitment to retirement, to thrive in day-to-day life and through a range of life’s challenges.

A post-race reception for the runners was held at the London offices of Savills, the estate agent and lettings company, and was attended by Daisy Felton, Racing Welfare Fundraising Executive. Daisy said: “All of the participants running in aid of Racing Welfare at this year’s London Marathon put in a stellar effort to raise more that £15k for the charity, with more funds continuing to come in following the event.

“The dedication they’ve shown to train, fundraise and complete the event is admirable and all of us at Racing Welfare would like to thank them and celebrate their achievements. Their hard work will help to ensure we can continue to be there for racing’s people when they need us most.”

Runners participating in aid of Racing Welfare, of particular note, include Richard Cosgrave who works for Harry Whittington Racing in Lambourn and completed the event in a time of 03:56:47 despite historically receiving support from Racing Welfare after sustaining a fall which resulted in a broken neck. Harrison Mills, Strategy Manager at The Jockey Club, completed the run in an impressive time of 2:43:35, and Sophie Webber, Brand Marketing Assistant at Goffs – the global auction house for Thoroughbreds, who has raised £4,138 so far against an initial target of £2,000.

Racing welfare runner profiles/information:

Richard Cosgrave, who currently works for Harry Whittington Racing in Lambourn, had planned to pursue a career in flat and jump racing but that was sadly cut short due to sustaining a fall which resulted in a broken neck. With support from Racing Welfare and the Injured Jockeys Fund (IJF) Richard has been able to continue working in the racing industry. Richard said: “I’ve been extremely lucky to continue in this physically and mentally demanding industry. This would never have been made available without the support of Racing Welfare, the guidance, and dedication of this charity has enabled me to continue through the challenges of my recovery and more. 

“For this reason, I’m thrilled to have been given the opportunity to run on behalf of Racing Welfare. A charity very close to my heart, and one that supports each and every dedicated individual in Racing.”


Chris Martin, who is assistant trainer to Archie Watson in Lambourn, only took up running at the end of 2023 with the London Marathon specifically in mind. Chris said: Racing Welfare is racing’s primary human welfare charity and has supported me and many others close to me throughout my career in racing, not least by providing me with an affordable place to live in Lambourn for several years when my employer did not have any on-site accommodation to offer. 

“I’ve held a senior position in racing for over a decade now and am confident that, during those years, not a week has gone by when a colleague or friend from within the racing community would not have needed the support of Racing Welfare in some form, whether that be following an accident or injury, needing financial assistance or help with their mental health.  We often take for granted the support that is there for all of us, because it’s not always something that is easy to talk openly about, but I hope that by taking part in this high-profile event I can do my bit to raise awareness and much needed funds for a charity that means so much to so many people.”


Harrison Mills, who is a Strategy Manager at The Jockey Club, was motivated to take part having seen the positive impact Racing Welfare has on the industry’s workforce. Harrison said: “The charity does incredible work supporting mental and physical health, addiction and assistance with housing to name a few of their services. All donations towards Racing Welfare will go a long way to supporting those in need.”


Katie King, who currently works at the University of Manchester in the field of cardiovascular research, chose to run in aid of Racing Welfare after seeing first-hand the positive impact the charity has within the racing community. While at University she worked at a stud in the Lake District as well as riding out at a yard in Lambourn. Katie said: “I wanted to do The London Marathon for Racing Welfare after watching my mum (Jane King) run the Great North Run for Racing Welfare last year. When I worked in Lambourn, I saw first-hand what an impact Racing Welfare had within the community and how much the racing staff depended on support from the charity.”


Charlie Jones, 24, now lives in London but grew up in Cheveley near Newmarket and following his decision to run in aid of Racing Welfare, he has learnt a lot more about the challenges stud, stable and racecourse staff face. Charlie said: “Having grown up in Newmarket and being surrounded by people employed in the horseracing industry, I have always been conscious of the welfare issues that impact those involved, but not really aware of the severity.”

“Having moved to London in 2023 and getting focused on my running, when the opportunity arose to support Racing Welfare at short notice, I didn’t want to let it pass me by. Whilst Racing Welfare is a charity I was aware of, since signing up to the challenge I have learnt a lot more about how much good work goes on behind the scenes to support those who don’t necessarily always get seen. It’s also been good to have a conversation with people who aren’t involved or around horseracing who perhaps don’t understand the scale of the sport or the issues many within it face.”


Tom Ryall, who is Clerk of the Course at Wincanton Racecourse as well as a previous employee of National Hunt trainer Harry Fry and graduate of the Northern Racing College, Tom appreciated the important role Racing Welfare plays. Tom said: “Having worked within the racing industry since the age of 18, I have seen first-hand the great work that Racing Welfare do. My main goal for the Marathon is to beat my younger brother’s time of 4 Hours 3 Minutes – he ran the London Marathon for Racing Welfare back in 2021 and I hope to beat his time along with trying to raise as much money as possible.” 


Bruce and Carron Wymer, owners of G1 winning horse Ahoy Senor, took part as a way of giving back to the industry they enjoy being a part of. Bruce said: “We feel incredibly lucky at our fortune having already achieved the dream of a grade one winning horse, Ahoy Senor. We wanted to do something to give back and so after our previous plan to run a marathon on the Great Wall had been scuppered by covid when the opportunity to run the London Marathon presented itself, we were too mad to miss it. We chose Racing Welfare as the charity to raise funds for. Our sport is only possible because of the amazing work of the staff behind the scenes, supporting a charity that provides essential welfare to these individuals seems a fitting way to give something back.”


Heather Oliver, who has worked in the racing industry since 2001, only signed-up to run the event six weeks ago. Heather said: Running a marathon was on my bucket list – so when this place came up for Racing Welfare I felt I may as well give myself the biggest challenge to date and run it.

“I have worked in horseracing since 2001, it has always been my passion. To be able to give back to the community that has looked after me for so long is an honour. Racing Welfare do some tremendous work supporting all staff across the industry from mental health to housing- including supporting my students with one of my current job roles with the National horseracing college. Their list is endless. It would mean so much to me to support them back.” 


Sophie Webber is Brand Marketing Assistant at Goffs – the global auction house for Thoroughbreds. Sophie said: “To run a marathon has always been on my “bucket list”. Having supported a friend at the Dublin Marathon last October, I walked away feeling so inspired and exciting about taking on the challenge. When I heard that one of my colleagues had applied to run for Racing Welfare, it seemed like a perfect fit. “


To find out more about our Racing Welfare runners and to sponsor their efforts, please visit: https://racingwelfare.co.uk/challenges-archive/tcs-london-marathon-2024-are-you-up-for-the-challenge

The TCS London Marathon is the largest annual one-day fundraising event on the planet, with participants raising more than £1 billion for good causes since the first event was held in 1981. The TCS London Marathon is a celebration of fun, fundraising, fancy dress and amazing community spirit, and a triumph of positivity, inclusivity and togetherness. 2023 TCS London Marathon was the biggest marathon ever staged anywhere in the world, with 48,599 participants taking on the traditional course from London’s Greenwich to The Mall, and a further 4,129 people from more than 101 countries completing the 26.2-mile challenge virtually across the globe.