Sunday, May 26, 2013
Ascot Celebrates Champions and Looks to Legacy
Wednesday 17 October 2012
London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games was quite simply the greatest sporting event in living memory. Equestrianism was catapulted into the sporting premier league, targets that once seemed improbable were smashed and our national heroes were made into global superstars.
London 2012 may have come and gone, but the good news is the party continues. The QIPCO British Champions Day at Ascot Racecourse on Saturday 20 October will showcase all aspects of the Olympic and Paralympic Legacy and will feature a parade of at least 11 riders from London 2012, including Natasha Baker, Sophie Christiansen, Tina Cook, Deb Criddle, William Fox-Pitt, Carl Hester, Nick Skelton, Sophie Wells and Nicola Wilson.
If you’ve been inspired by the Olympic and Paralympic Games and have an inkling that you'd like to get back in the saddle, then Ascot is the place to be. The British Equestrian Federation’s Olympic legacy initiative, Hoof, aims to make the route into riding as easy as possible. There will be information about its initiative ‘Take Back the Reins’, a scheme that provides tailor made coaching, specifically designed to support your first steps in the saddle, available on the day. It will help you develop your skills so that you can enjoy riding, improve your fitness and progress within the sport, making sure you have fun along the way.
Between 11.30am-1.00pm The Old Paddock Lawn will be transformed into a mini-replica of Greenwich Park, with a special display of the hallowed fences used during the showjumping and cross-country competitions. A packed and diverse schedule will include a host of demonstrations; find out more about eventing from Olympic eventing team silver medallist Tina Cook, and learn about the art of dressage from international dressage rider Daniel Watson.
The BEF and British Racing School interactive areas in The Old Paddock area will feature mechanical horse simulators, computer games and other attractions, while also on the lawns the legends of racing, including Frankie Dettori and Mick Kinane, will be signing autographs. In the grandstand area, the voice of London 2012, Clare Balding, will be signing copies of her new book.
Crowds of up to 32,000 are expected for British Champions Day – the richest day’s horse racing in the UK. This year all eyes will be on Frankel, who will have the last run of his career in the Champion Stakes.
The gates open at 10.30am and the first race is at 1.45pm. It will also be televised by the BBC.
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