CAROLINE Davis, younger sister of Jane who is now with Connolly’s Red Mills and previously with HRI, is riding in a charity race at Kelso on Sunday. Caroline used to work alongside her sister at Leopardstown Racecourse which is when she fell in love with the racing industry.
“I moved to the UK four and a half years ago to pursue my career within racing when I got offered a racecourse sponsorship role with the UK bookmaker, Betfred, who I have worked for ever since.”
Caroline, and her donated horse, real name Crakehall Lad, are raising funds for Jack Berry House in Malton, northern England’s rehabilitation centre for injured jockeys. When we spoke to Caroline during the week she had £3,000 in pledges and yesterday her boss Fred Done pledged a further £4,000.
Caroline (28) takes on 11 other amateurs in the Flying Fillies charity race at Kelso and has been training for this race for over a year.
She explained: “I started riding when I was three, when Jane got a pony called Sam, and as a family we’ve been hooked ever since. I had a few ponies growing up and then got Captain Scarlet when I was 13 and over the following five years I competed on him in showing events all over Ireland and have represented my country a few times at the British Showing Championships in the four-strong working hunter team.
“I was speaking to Jack (Berry) at the races in Newcastle last year and I knew I was on his radar to take part in a charity race. Next day, he amazed me when he gave me a sponsorship form and £20 because he said he wanted to be the first person to sponsor me, which was great.
“It’s a brilliant opportunity for someone like me, who has a passion for horses. It is a superb honour to help towards the £250,000 per year running costs of this fantastic facility which opened in 2014.”
Caroline, who has been keeping trim for her big day has been embarking on cardio and resistance training using the specialised facilities at Jack Berry House, including gruelling sessions on the mechanical horse which realistically tests a riders’ balance and stamina.
The Flying Fillies charity race will be the last on the card at Kelso and on course bookies will be hopefully taking bets.