CHARLIE Cairns, who won last year’s contest on Devidently, has signed up for the fourth running of the Brianna Lynch Memorial Cup, a flat race for riders 18 and under, which takes place tomorrow at the North Tipperary Foxhounds’ point-to-point outside Nenagh.

The race was originally established by Brianna’s mother, Arabella Scanlan, as a fund-raiser to increase awareness of SUDEP (Sudden Unexpected Death in Epilepsy) and epilepsy in general, a cause which should receive wider publicity this year. “I’ve asked all 16 riders to post a profile of themselves on Facebook and there will be a prize of €100 for the most liked post,” said Arabella, who has been overwhelmed by the amount of support for the race.

The 16-runner field will be led for the first circuit of the two-mile race by the North Tipps’ huntsman Denis O’Sullivan, after which the pacemaker will drop out.

The youngest rider to have entered is eight-year-old Abigail Byrne, while the line-up will also include Ali O’Brien, who won the race in 2022, just months after receiving her own epilepsy diagnosis in December 2021.

Prizes include a Sarah Barry physiotherapy visit for the first pony rider home and for the first horse rider home, well-packed Connolly’s Red Mills goodie bags and racewear for all the young jockeys, three best turned-out prizes (for horse, pony and cob), one for the ‘most outstandingly brave’ jockey, one for the most appropriately glam lead-up groom and tubes of Zarasyl equine cream for all riders.


Messages of support for the race have been received through social media from Kevin Blake, Danny Mullins, Johnny Sexton, Mundy, Diane Harron Eakin, Carol Gee, Michael Blake and Peter Scudamore. The last-named, who was champion National Hunt jockey in Britain eight times, filmed his message from the back of last year’s Randox Grand National winner Corach Rambler, whose Co Wexford breeder, Paul Hillis, will be one of the race judges, along with Co Clare trainer, Ron O’Leary.

Arabella has received other donations and has decided to have a draw among race supporters and contributors for a one-night stay for two with dinner and breakfast in the Abbeyglen Castle Hotel and a one-night bed and breakfast stay in the Cashel Palace Hotel, which has also donated a bottle of Cashel Palace gin.