THE official launch of Tiggy’s Trust at Cheltenham Racecourse last Friday, December 10th, was “magical”, according to Jane Hancock, mother of the late Tiggy who tragically passed away in June after a riding accident.

Hundreds of people from the racing and sport horse communities in Ireland, Britain and around the world turned off in yellow to celebrate Tiggy’s life. The statue of Best Mate was donned with a yellow Tiggy’s Trust rug, the racecard was dedicated to Tiggy, as was the Tattersalls Cheltenham December Sale catalogue.

Speaking to The Irish Field this week, Jane Hancock thanked everyone for their hard work in making the event so special. “It was truly amazing. It was a little bit of everything in terms of feelings, very emotional at times, but most of all it was very magical. We appreciate so much everyone being so supportive.

“There was an overriding feeling of support. I know everyone enjoyed the day. The kids absolutely loved it. There must have been 60 of Tiggy’s friends, all 15 and 16-year-olds. It was lovely for those kids to all be together.”

Among those who attended and partook in the day were racing heroes Sir A.P. McCoy, Ruby Walsh and Rachael Blackmore, plus Irish event riders Sam Watson, Sarah Ennis, Austin O’Connor, Padraig McCarthy and more, as well as British eventing Tokyo Olympic gold medallist, Laura Collett.

Scottish comedian and impressionist Rory Bremner entertained guests while AP McCoy and Ruby Walsh were tipsters on the day in Tiggy’s Tent, where 450 sat for lunch and a live auction between races. Another 300 people were next door in the Yellow Ribbon Tent where they were also treated to entertainment throughout the day.

The Hancock family were particularly delighted to see the jockeys Tiggy’s Trust Novices’ Limited Handicap Chase wearing yellow breeches emblazoned with the Tiggy’s Trust logo. “That was thanks to Janet Williamson, she fought hard for them, and they made such an impact. We were breaking barriers the whole time; we even put a Tiggy’s Trust rug on the statue of Best Mate. It was a phenomenal day,” Jane Hancock commented.

Close to €200,000 was raised which will be split with the Injured Jockeys Fund. Tiggy’s Trust, set up to honour Tiggy’s memory and help empower young people, has three key objectives – mental health, education and training.

See pictures on page 78-79.