Eventers turn jockeys in July

    Making a splash - John Francome (left) and Zara Phillips battle it out in last year's JCB Champions Challenge


Mark Todd swopped his eventing silks for racing silks yesterday to take part in the George Frewer Charity Race at Newbury in England.

The race was won by Maisie Turner on Oratorio’s Joy but Toddy turned in a good performance to finish fifth on Ledbury, trained by Charlie Hills. Although Mark has trained racehorses for many years, he admitted that training them was quite different to riding in an actual race, a long-held ambition he has now fulfilled. You can watch the race here

Mark will also be taking part in the JCB Champions Challenge at the Barbury International Horse Trials on Saturday 11 July. The race, in aid of the Injured Jockeys Fund, pitches two teams of jump jockeys and eventers riding against each other over a specially designed course. The winning junior and senior teams from the inter-hunt relay, held on the same day, will the form the final two teams in the Challenge. 

Leading the jumps jockeys is 20 times champion jump jockey AP McCoy OBE who retired from race riding in April this year following an extraordinary record-breaking career. The ‘Champ’ will be joined by a trio of jump jockeys; Sam Twiston-Davies, 22, Richard Johnson and Wayne Hutchinson, stable jockey to Barbury trainer Alan King.

The eventers team is captained by Andrew Nicholson who will be joined by Mark, Harry Meade and Tina Cook. Last year the eventers finished in third place behind the winning Jump Jockeys and the VWH Bathurst Hunt team – no doubt the ever competitive eventers this year will be looking to gain revenge!