On Saturday 22 October, fourteen amateur riders will take part in the final leg of the Corinthian Challenge Charity Race Series in aid of Irish Injured Jockeys at Leopardstown Racecourse. The charity race will be the final race on the card and will go to post at 5.30pm. This will be the third race of the series as riders have ridden at The Curragh and Gowran Park previously as part of the challenge.
The Corinthian Challenge is a three-race series open to amateurs who want to fundraise for Irish Injured Jockeys in a unique way. During the challenge participants enjoy an experience of a lifetime. These brave volunteers get to enjoy first-hand what it is like to be a jockey, riding out in the mornings, training and perfecting their riding style and technique, dealing with trainers to secure rides and competing at some of Ireland’s best tracks.
Each rider cites a different reason for their participation. For some, it simply offers the excitement and thrill of riding on the track, but for most of the participants, the reasons are personal, many challengers have close connections to the industry and with those who have benefitted from the charity over the years and want to give something back. All challengers are tasked with a fundraising target of €10,000 to compete in the challenge, their fundraising drives are ongoing throughout the entire series.
A colourful mix of participants hail from Armagh to Kerry with interesting day jobs from insurance to engineering and even a member of An Garda Síochána taking part, every rider brings with them a unique story.
At 5.30pm on Saturday at Leopardstown, Fiona Dowling, Darren Harrison, Michelle O’Brien, Craig Kileff, Emer Lawlor, Laura Bennett, Dean Ryan, Stan Begley, Marie Vallet, Jane Davis, Neil Durkan, Joan Tyner, Laura Burnett and Peter O’Reilly will line up for the last time together.
Although they are all winners, who have demonstrated an unwavering commitment to their training regimes and fundraising efforts, it is a competition and there can be only one champion. The series is run on an accumulation of points model. Each race allocates points to the first four home, with ten points for a winner, seven points for second place, five points for third position and three points for fourth. With two races in the bag and only one remaining on Saturday at Leopardstown, we will finally crown the overall series Corinthian Challenge Champion.
As we approach the final furlong, the competition remains too close to call. Stan Begley and Jane Davis are neck and neck with 13 points and hot on their heels is Darren Harrison with 12 points. Fiona Dowling is on 7 points and Laura Bennett is on 5 points so in principle any of them could win it outright.
Ruby Walsh, Irish Injured Jockeys Chairman said, “The Corinthian Challenge is Irish Injured Jockey’s major annual fundraising event and we are so grateful to all of those who are taking part. It is a major commitment and the funds they raise are vital to our charity and all that we do here. I would also like to thank the owners, trainers and grooms who have supported them with horses to ride on racedays without which this series simply could not happen. All of us at Irish Injured Jockeys would like to wish the challengers the very best of luck ahead of their final race. We can’t wait to see how the race itself goes and who will be this year’s overall Corinthian Challenge Champion.”
For the 14 Corinthian challengers, we are in the final strides of the challenge and fundraising is still underway, it is not too late to show your support, visit www.justgiving.com/campaign/corinthianchallenge2022.
For further information about The Corinthian Challenge Charity Race Series in aid of Irish Injured Jockeys and how to sign up for the 2023 challenge, visit www.corinthianchallenge.com.