• Thu. Feb 22nd, 2024

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Businesses urged to saddle up for panto race day for hospice

BUSINESSES are saddling up for a furlong of fun – with staff dressed as pantomime horses in a charity ride to remember.

For the first time in three years, the popular annual extravaganza will be staged again at Catterick Racecourse, on Wednesday, July 6.

The event, which once went viral thanks to a hapless sprint that saw one competitor plough through the rails, will raise much needed funds for St Teresa’s Hospice.

Staff from businesses are currently signing up for the event which takes place before the main racing.

For Phil Upton, Managing Director of Richmond digital agency Purple Creative, it will be the fourth time his staff have taken part and watched from the stands.

“Having been an adopter of St Teresa’s charity, we enjoyed taking part in the first race so much that we carried on supporting the event,” he said. “We have 12 in the team and it is great for them and a very good cause to support.”

Catterick Racecourse’s Emma Stevenson said: “The panto race has proved to be very popular over the years, people also get a great day at the races with plenty of opportunities to support the charity.”

The Hospice needs to raise £3m a year to provide free in-patient and community care for people living with life-limiting illnesses and their families in Darlington, South Durham and North Yorkshire.

St Teresa’s Hospice fundraising and marketing manager John Paul Stabler said the race started during the charity’s 30thanniversary year but had become a popular part of the fundraising calendar.

Up to ten teams take part each comprising a panto horse front, back and trainer, who have to show off their form in the parade ring before sprinting the final furlong as they vie for a silver trophy.

John Paul added: “It is such good fun. When Wonky Donkey crashed through the rails a few years back we didn’t know whether to call an ambulance or the vet. In the end we realised the competitors hadn’t got back to their feet because they were laughing so much.”

Competitors are asked to raise at least £100 to take part, and collect more funds on the day with a bucket collection in the parade ring.

Businesses can get involved by sponsoring a race. For £750 they can name their race, display banners on the course, present a trophy to the winner, choose the best turned out horse and attend the race day. Advertising opportunities are also available.

To book contact the events team for more information on (01325) 254321 or events@darlingtonhospice.org.uk.

By French