A crowd of 10,500 people flocked to Limerick racecourse this Monday to play their part in raising over €550,000 for the injured jockeys fund, and in particular JT McNamara and Jonjo Bright.
The unique event, an initiative of Limerick racecourse, was blessed with warm sunshine for the day’s action and the fundraising target of €350,000 was easily surpassed with €250,000 being raised in the auction alone.
There was a carnival atmosphere at Greenmount where the bumper crowd enjoyed side shows like a jockey’s tug of war as well as serious action on the track featuring appearances by some of the top jockeys in the game like 18-time champion AP McCoy, Ruby Walsh and Richard Johnson and flat stars Johnny Murtagh, Kieren Fallon and Jamie Spencer.
All gate takings on the day as well as entry fees, race sponsorhip, prize money and riding fees were being donated to the injured jockeys fund which is helping pay for the ongoing treatment and rehabilitation of McNamara and Bright.
That money was augmented by a charity auction, featuring prizes like Henieken Cup final tickets, One Direction tickets, racing silks, a visit to superstar horse Frankel’s stable and more exotic items like a pair of McCoy’s underwear.
Bidding began via silent auction in a tent by the parade ring before racing and continued after the action on the track concluded in the afternoon.
A further boost to the fund came in the shape of leading owner Barry Connell’s pledge to donate all of Champion Hurdle favourite Our Conor’s winnings for the season - a sum that could run into several hundred thousand euro.
If you wish to donate money to the cause you can do so at www.limerickcharityraceday.ie