This Saturday, Chester Racecourse will welcome Richard Farquhar, the brave father of four who is walking 3,000 miles around the UK from racecourse to racecourse in a fundraising project called ‘Walking The Courses’. Farquhar will arrive at Chester on Saturday having made his way on foot all the way from Uttoxeter Racecourse on the latest stage of his fifty-eight leg journey.
Farquhar’s mission is to connect all sixty of Britain’s racecourses in a chain on foot. He was inspired to undertake a large scale fundraising challenge after losing his father in 2012 to pancreatic cancer, the most vicious of all common cancers, and, as a lifelong racing fan, he decided he wanted to involve the nation’s racecourses. He is hoping that his marathon efforts will raise a huge £1.4million to be split equally between two charities that are very close to his heart, namely Pancreatic Cancer UK and Racing Welfare. The latter of these two charities looks after the mostly unseen army of staff who work with racehorses behind the scenes.
To complete the Uttoxeter to Chester leg of his journey in style, Farquhar will be walking around the Chester course itself before racing at 12 noon, as is customary for each of his racecourse arrivals. He will be accompanied by various familiar faces from the racing world, including local trainer Tom Dascombe, and several supporters of the campaign. Racegoers are also encouraged to partake in the lap of the track and should get in contact via the website if they wish to do so.
Farquhar is now over a third of the way through his racecourse pilgrimage in terms of racecourses visited, having ticked off twenty-one of the sixty. He can nearly say the same for the mileage, as upon arrival at Chester he will have completed around 900 of the 3,000 miles between these courses. By April 2016, upon arrival back at Newmarket having completed all of the walks, Farquhar hopes to be nearing his ambitious target of £1.4million, to have involved people from all across the UK in his challenge and partnered with some of the biggest corporates within the racing industry.
Farquhar’s fundraising total now sits around £140,000, including pledges; he has a long way to go yet. The exit bucket collection at Chester Racecourse on Saturday will be in aid of Walking The Courses and racegoers are encouraged to give generously to Farquhar’s two extremely worthy but crucially underfunded beneficiaries. The Chester crowd will likely be the biggest that Walking The Courses will encounter over the entire thirteen months and thus presents a very exciting fundraising opportunity.
Chief Executive of Chester Race Company, Richard Thomas, comments, “Chester Racecourse is delighted to be supporting Richard in this remarkable endeavour. We’re very much looking forward to welcoming the Walking The Courses team to Chester on Saturday 11th July and hope we can all help to raise the funds its causes so richly deserve.”
To find out more about Walking The Courses, to donate and to get involved, visit www.walkingthecourses.com.