THE SUN SHINES FOR SHAN
Top Welsh opera singer, Shân Cothi, added to horseracing history at Ascot on Wednesday, when she competed in the first ever charity race at the Berkshire course. After an excellent day’s racing including the Group 3 Sagaro Stakes, the 5.30pm race featured a group of Lady riders, most of whom had little experience of riding racehorses!
The race was being run for BHEST – Racing to School, a free education programme for pupils of all ages in the UK, bringing school subjects to life on the racecourse.
Shân rode in the race to raise money for BHEST and her own charity Amser Justin Time, set up in memory of her husband Justin Smith, who died of pancreatic cancer at the age of just 42. Since the charity was founded, Shân has raised over £125,000 to go towards care and treatment for pancreatic cancer patients.
Shân’s mount for the race was Tae Kwon Do, a five-year-old gelding trained by Tim Vaughan, in the ownership of the Racing For Change-driven ‘Students Love the Races’. The syndicate has played an important role in encouraging the setting up of new university clubs that has already seen the interest in the sport soar among the student population in recent months.
A large group of students attended to cheer on Shân who eventually finished behind Emma Littmoden, Gay Kelleway and Beccy Green; it was close for fourth and Shan then went on to experience more of the Ascot track as Tae Kwon Do really got into his stride and she was too tired to pull him up! Both eventually arrived home safely to celebrate with her student owners and fellow competitors.
BBC Radio Wales have been following Shân throughout her journey to riding at Ascot. Many of the students who arrived to support Shân and see their horse in action had their say on the radio show which will be aired on 14th May and 21st May.
To find out more about BHEST or Shân’s own charity, or if you would like to make a donation to either cause, please visit www.amserjustintime.org.
Check out all the photos from the day at Students at the Races.
Student owners will be able to read Tim Vaughan’s official debrief of TKD’s latest appearance next week. If you missed his latest blog check back now at Trainer’s Blog.
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