The annual charity Shire Horse race at Lingfield Park has become a hit since it was first held in 2013 – and TV presenter Davina McCall was there to witness this year’s race.
Davina attended the Showerking Flying Feather Shire Horse Grander Nationalrace while filming for a new C4 documentary. Held on Saturday 9 April, the Shires took to the racecourse onthe same day as the Crabbie’s Grand National took place at Aintree.
This year’s two furlong charge saw jockey Tommy Carberry cross the finish line first after a late run on the 10-year-old Older Nikki.
Hurst Green Shires once again supplied all the supersized racehorses for the racing spectacle. “This race is a wonderful opportunity to highlight this amazing breed and show how versatile they are,” saidJax Gardiner, from Hurst Green Shires.
This year’s race had a bit of a twist, as a novice rider had been challenged to race against professional jockeys as part of the documentary.
James Dunn, 28, had never sat on a horse three months prior to the race, but he received expert tuition in the run up to his racing debut.
He expected to finish last – little wonder against some very experienced jockeys – and sure enough he cantered in last over the finish line, with both he and his horse looking like they’d had fun.
Luke Morris wasn’t quite so fortunate, taking a tumble half way through the race – and it’s a rather long way down to fall from a Shire.
The race helps raise the profile of the threatened Shire Horse breed.
“This year’s race was a little different with James taking part, but after all the hard work put in by the team at Hurst Green Shires, it was thrilling to see him achieve his goal,” said organiser JaxGardiner.