Berkshire Poppy Appeal Launch at Newbury Racecourse
PUBLISHED: 02:34 23 October 2011 | UPDATED: 21:39 20 February 2013
9,000 people, including military and Royal British Legion members, attended Newbury Racecourse today – October 22
9,000 racegoers, 1,500 of whom were military personnel and Royal British Legion (RBL) members receiving free entry, gathered at Newbury Racecourse today to support the launch of the RBLs Berkshire Poppy Appeal. The Worthingtons Armed Forces Raceday also marked the final fixture of the Berkshire tracks 2011 flat season, featuring two Group three races
The Royal Navy Raiders kicked off proceedings with a freefall parachute display onto the racecourse before guest of honour Marine Mark Jackson lead the poppy appeal launch.Mark, from Newbury was awarded the Gallantry Medal, second only to the Victoria Cross after he dived on a comrade to protect him from a blast from a grenade whilst serving in Afghanistan in August 2010.
Amongst the numerous military displays and demonstrations, the star attraction was the Supacat Jackal, whichhas been acclaimed as a very effective patrol vehicle servingBritish Forces, especially for its off-road mobility in the hard terrain experienced in Afghanistan and can reach speeds of up to 80mph whilst being designed to protect against mine blasts.
There was plenty of action on the track with Jockey Eddie Ahern onboard Tell Dad winning the Worthingtons Highfield Social Club Stakes, the pair lead from the front throughout to win the Group three contest for trainer Richard Hannon. Beaten Up made it three wins from three career starts in the second group contest of the day when winning the Worthingtons Champion Shield Stakes with Johnny Murtagh on board and trained by Newmarket based William Haggas.
Commenting on the day, Stephen Higgins, Joint Managing Director, Newbury Racecourse said There has been a fantastic atmosphere here today with racegoers giving generously to the Poppy Appeal. We were delighted to welcome Worthingtons as first time sponsors at Newbury and support such a vital cause in the RBL.
Francesca Yates, Community Fundraiser, Berkshire RBL added The Royal British Legion is committed to put 50 million into recovery centres for injured service people returning from current conflicts. Today has marked the beginning of Remembrance tide in the Berkshire region and last year this launch helped us to raise 860,000 across the County. We hope to build on this figure this year, our 90th Anniversary Year."