Every year the AJA supports Spinal Injuries by organising charity races (run outside the Rules of Racing). Riders come from a variety of backgrounds and are of all shapes and sizes with a wide variety of experience, ability and age. Our oldest jockey to date is John Ciechanowski. Vice President of the AJA, who took part in Newbury’s 2005 race at the age of 83 and raised nearly £2,000 in the process.

Riders who are proficient in the saddle are asked to provide their own horses, which must have run at least twice either under Rules or in point-to-points. If riders cannot prove their standard of equestrianism by their experience, they must attend an assessment day at the British Racing School in Newmarket in order to qualify. Amateur riders and point-to-point jockeys who hold a licence are also invited to take part in charity races if they have not ridden a winner under Rules.

This is an excellent introduction to the racecourse for inexperienced amateur jockeys. Sour or inexperienced horses can also benefit, with races started by flag rather than stalls and runners restricted to a maximum field of 12. On more than one occasion a jaded horse has had his racing interest restored having enjoyed taking part in a charity race and has been sweetened up to go on and win next time on the racecourse!

For 2007 the following charity races are planned:

10th April – Chepstow – 1m 4f – 12 stone

14th June – Newbury – 1m 5f – 11st 7 lbs

18th July – Lingfield – 7f – 11st 7 lbs

3rd October – Newcastle – 1m 4f – 12 stone

28th October – Wincanton – 1m 4f -12 stone

14th November – Bangor-on-Dee – 1m 4f – 12 stone

If you are interested in taking part in a charity race, please contact Sarah Oliver on 01886 884488 or e-mail

You can also contact Alycia Collins at SIA on 01258 861119 or e-mail

Do not delay as places are already filling up for 2007! Sponsorship levels vary from race to race but we usually ask riders to aim for a goal of £1,000 each, in aid of SIA.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.