Sunday, 29th October - Key4life Charity Raceday - celebrating 150 years of racing at Wincanton 


On Sunday 29th October, eight gallant riders closely associated with the world of horseracing, will take part in a one-mile two-furlong charity race at Wincanton Racecourse in aid of Key4Life – a Somerset-based charity that is seeing extraordinary results rehabilitating young offenders and those at risk of going to prison through an innovative seven-step programme. The charity themed raceday also sees the charity celebrate its 5th anniversary and marks 150 years of racing at Wincanton Racecourse.


Those lining up for the Key4Life charity race include: A member of the Qatari royal family, Sheikh Fahad bin Abdullah Al Thani is a major owner, breeder and investor in British Racing. His entrance into the sport was in 2010 and his second year of ownership culminated with victory in the Melbourne Cup with Dunaden. In 2011, Sheikh Fahad brought his brothers into racing when the family company, QIPCO, took on sponsorship of the inaugural British Champions Series. He is Chairman of Qatar Racing and Qatar Bloodstock. In 2014 Sheikh Fahad led an eight strong Qatar Racing Team to complete the London Marathon, raising £200,000 for Racing Welfare. Now aged 28, Sheikh Fahad rode in his first race in 2015 and has since ridden in charity races both in Ireland and in the UK, winning twice, including the 2016 Newmarket Town Plate, as well as taking part in the world’s longest horserace, the Mongol Derby.


Harry Derham – Assistant Trainer to Paul Nicholls and former jump jockey. Harry left school at sixteen to be a jockey and after winning the Greatwood Hurdle a month after his 17th birthday, Harry turned professional and enjoyed 50 winners under rules including the Welsh Champion Hurdle, the Lanzarotte Hurdle and the Martin Pipe Conditional Jockey’s Race at Cheltenham Festival. A nasty fall cut short Harry’s riding career and he is now Assistant Trainer to Paul Nicholls.


Amy Derham – Business Development Executive for All Sport Insurance. Sister of Harry and niece of top jump trainer, Paul Nicholls, Amy rode during her early years, enjoying pony club activities to point-to-pointing.  A fitness fanatic, Amy was the only rider required to attend Newmarket Racing School for physical assessment, which she passed with ease. Rosie Fry – Sister of trainer Harry Fry, Rosie is another competent female rider having ridden all her life. In 2010, she represented Great Britain at the Young Rider European Eventing Championships finishing 15th individually and now enjoys a fulltime eventing career from her Dorset yard. The Key4Life charity race will be Rosie’s first time in a racing saddle.  


2017 is becoming a very memorable year for Gerry Supple having got married in the summer, he turns 40 in December and will also ride in Wincanton’s Key4Life charity race! Irish-born Gerry came to England aged 15 and enjoyed a successful race-riding career with 79 winners to his name, plus numerous mounts at Cheltenham Festival and in the Grand National. Gerry retired from the saddle in 2012 and continues to enjoy his ‘over 20 years’ association with the Pipe family as their Assistant Trainer. Gerry is the youngest member of the great racing dynasty that is the Supple family from Ballyduff with brothers Willie, Robbie and John all being very good jockeys - Robbie is now the head starter for the British Horseracing Authority.   


Anthony Honeyball was born into a racing family – his father John trained The Dikler to win his point to points, before he went onto Gold cup Glory with Fulke Walwyn in 1973. Anthony enjoyed a short career in the saddle before deciding to concentrate on training from Potwell Farm in Dorset.   To date, Anthony has trained nearly 200 winners with over £1m in prizemoney. Seasonal highlights included a second Aintree Festival winner and Regal Encore winning a £100,000 race at Ascot.


Melissa Townshend is another jockey to have ridden literally since they were born! Melissa comes from hunting stock and is a British three-star eventerhaving recently competed at Blenheim Palace International horse trials.  A newbie to racing, Melissa is undergoing training around her university studies.


The young and ambitious horseman, Harry Whittington is the ultimate hands-on trainer.  Having started training five years ago with five horses, Harry has since expanded his Lambourn-based pool to a string of almost 50 strong with a Grade 1 success already under his belt. A former Point-to-Point jockey, Harry entered the polo scene for a few years before unearthing his racing passion.  Harry rides out every day (when possible) and breaks in all the young horses that he purchases each year.  On Sunday, 29th October Harry will ride three-time winner for the yard - Salto Chisco - who has been kindly put forward by his owners The British Racing Club.  


Huw Williams, General Manager of Wincanton Racecourse, said: “The Key4Life Charity Race promises to be a thrilling start to our 150th anniversary raceday.  


The battle between siblings – Harry and Amy – and the additional battle between the racing yards – Honeyball, Whittington, Nicholls, Fry and Pipe – will guarantee that it is a highly competitive charity race.  


We are delighted to be supporting Key4Life and our joint birthdays (150 years of racing and the charity’s 5th anniversary) will be celebrated in style and enjoyed by all racegoers."


Eva Hamilton, CEO and Founder of Key4Life, added:”Key4Life is delighted to be Wincanton’s chosen charity for their Charity Raceday. Over the last five years, Key4Life has helped turn around the lives of some of the most disaffected young men in both London and the South West. Key4Life has shown to demonstrate it is a grassroots intervention that helps break the cycle of re-offending.


We are hugely grateful to our event and race sponsors for the Key4Life Charity Raceday – BT, Willis Watson Towers, ScotchCorner Designer Village, Hauser & Wirth Universal Music UK, Boden and Hunt’s Foodservice. With the public’s generous support Key4Life can take the charity to the next level, as we start a groundbreaking programme at HMP Guys Marsh, Dorset.”


Racing on Sunday, 29th October will stage a bumper racecard, starting with the 12:15pm Key4Life Charity Race sponsored by Hunt’s Foodservice.  The celebratory raceday will be bursting with complimentary entertainment from Victorian themed rides, jugglers to a children’s carousel, plus QPR Football Club and Bath Rugby Club workshops for racegoers and their families.