Posted on Wednesday, April 18, 2018 by Heather Dodd
– Pertemps Champions Willberry Charity Derby, 27 August 2018
Alex Monro, director of Mole Energy Switching (www.moleenergy.com), has picked up the gauntlet by volunteering to ride in a very special horse race, being held at Epsom Racecourse, home of the Derby, on Monday 27 August 2018, to raise money for the Willberry the Wonder Pony Charity and The Bob Champion Cancer Trust. Young Hannah Francis founded the Willberry charity once she herself was diagnosed with cancer. Tragically Hannah died in 2016, but her charity continues to inspire people and raise money to support vital research and grant equine related wishes to seriously ill people. Bob Champion was himself both a very successful jockey and a cancer sufferer.
The one-off charity flat race at Epsom will run over the full length of the Derby course, testing both horses and jockeys to their limits.
Alex, who was a professional event rider and point-to-pointed in his younger years,now drives a desk in his day-to-day job with Mole Energy. He explains:
“After reading Hannah’s very poignant and moving story, I decided it was about time to get off my backside and do something to support a wonderful cause. The next key date for me is 25 April, when all of the charity race jockeys go to Epsom to walk the course. Then on 9 May I have to attend a ridden assessment, to ensure that I am fit enough and my riding level is appropriate for riding in a real horse race.”
“ Karen and Paul George (www.karengeorgeracing.com)have kindly agreed to find an appropriate horse for me for the race and I now need to concentrate on getting fit and in shape for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. My training regime is already proving to be pretty gruelling and I am spending many hours in the gym, cycling and riding out to try and get as fit as possible. I try to ride every day, but this is taking it to a whole new level!
“My target is to raise a minimum of £5,000 and I am grateful for every penny donated. Also to Mole Valley Farmers (www.molevalleyfarmers.com) who are sponsoring me, along with Rutherford Estates, who are currently developing a Proton beam to be used in the fight against cancer.My other corporate supporters are Cosguard, Bishop Fleming, Hickstead and Mole Energy of course! I am sincerely grateful to all of them.“
“Thanks to everyone who has sponsored me so far and I hope I can do justice to both charities and raise thousands more. I will endeavour to keep you all updated on the preparations leading up to the big day via https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/fundraiser-portal/fundraiserPage?pageId=914689”.
To date the professional riders named as jockeys for the day include three day eventer rider Lissa Green, (daughter of twice European Eventing Champion and Olympic Silver medallist Lucinda Green MBE) and her cousin Lara Prior-Palmer, who won the 2013 Mongol Derby. Their entry is particularly poignant as Lara has herself been battling Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Lissa and Lara will be joined by two other celebrity riders, Alex and seven other members of the public.
For more details about the race or the charities involved, please visit www.championswillberry.org.uk
For all press enquiries about this release, please contact Julie Edwards, Head of Corporate Communications on 01769 573431 or [email protected]