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Weatherbys supporting 3,000 mile charity walker

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This Friday (26th February), Warwick Racecourse will welcome Richard Farquhar, the remarkable father of four who is walking 3,000 miles around the UK from racecourse to racecourse to raise money for charity. Farquhar will arrive at Warwick upon completion of the next stage of his epic journey: a comparatively small 11 mile walk from Stratford Racecourse, to be completed on Friday morning before racing.

Farquhar’s mission is to connect all sixty of Britain’s racecourses on foot over thirteen months. He was inspired to undertake this fundraising challenge after losing his father in 2012 to pancreatic cancer, the most vicious of all 21 common cancers. With both father and son being lifelong racing fans, Farquhar decided he wanted to involve all of the nation’s racecourses in his charitable initiative, which has since grown to be racing’s biggest ever charity campaign. 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.

Since March of last year, Farquhar’s walk has taken him as far as Perth in the North, Newton Abbot in the South, Ffos Las in the West and Yarmouth in the East. Each leg of ‘Walking The Courses’ ends with Farquhar’s arrival at the next racecourse on his itinerary on the day that there is a race meeting. Upon arrival, he walks around the racecourse itself, accompanied by supporters of the campaign and famous faces from the racing world, finishing at the winning post to complete the leg.

Such a feat has never been attempted - let alone achieved - before, and hence the racing world has come out in force to support Farquhar’s efforts. Grand National winning trainer Oliver Sherwood, as well as fellow trainer Alan King and brother Simon Sherwood, who rode the great Desert Orchid, have all completed gruelling days at Richard’s side. The racecourse walks themselves have been joined by a plethora of jockeys, trainers and owners, demonstrating the breadth and depth of support for Farquhar’s endeavours.

Walking The Courses is being officially supported by many notable individuals within the horse racing industry. These include Clare Balding, Cornelius Lysaght (BBC), Charlie Hills, Oliver Sherwood, Lord Grimthorpe (Juddmonte Farms), Roger Weatherby (Weatherbys Ltd), Henry Beeby (DBS & Goffs), Nick Luck (Channel 4), Jonjo O’Neill and Roger Waley-Cohen, to name but a few.

Roger Weatherby, Chief Executive of Weatherbys Bank Ltd, said: “I am in awe of what Richard took on and has achieved. I once rode a horse 1,500 miles and that was tiring enough on four legs let along doing 3,000 miles on two”.

Farquhar is now over three-quarters of the way through his charity pilgrimage. Upon arrival at Warwick Racecourse he will have covered around 2,515 miles and visited 55 of mainland Britain’s 60 racecourses. His fundraising total currently sits at around £330,000, including pledges; he still has a long way to go yet before he hits his target.

To find out more about ‘Walking The Courses’, to donate and to get involved, visit www.walkingthecourses.com.