Irish events manager gives up a year of her life to learn to race like a professional jockey
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Irish events manager gives up a year of her life to learn to race like a professional jockey

CAROLINE DAVIS and her horse Crackers were amongst the also rans in the big charity race at Kelso Racecourse in Scotland recently.

But Dubliner Davis and her donated race horse, real name, Crakehall Lad, are the undisputed winners in the eyes of Jack Berry.

For Caroline, a Betfred sponsorship and events manager, raised more than £3,000 pledged for the running costs of Jack Berry House in Malton – the North’s rehabilitation centre for injured jockeys, which her boss Fred Done has since topped up to £10,000.

“I support winning members of my team – and Caroline has shown guts and determination to complete this race after an incredible amount of time training," Mr Done said.

" I think the world of Caroline and have no hesitation putting my hand in my pocket for this very worthy cause.”

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Caroline, 28, who lives near the bookie’s headquarters in Warrington went off at 3/1 after being evens for a short period when she took on 11 other amateurs in the Flying Fillies Charity Horserace after training for over a year.

“It was a fantastic opportunity and all the training was worthwhile," she said afterwards. "I must say the race was a lot faster than I envisaged. It was exciting and I really enjoyed it.”

Caroline on Crakehall Lad

She added: “It has been a year since I have had a drink so will be having a couple of glasses of Prosecco to celebrate with friends and my family from Ireland who came over to watch.

“It was a brilliant experience for someone like me, who has a passion for horses…. a superb honour to help towards the £250,000 per year running costs of this fantastic facility which opened in 2014.

"I’ve really grafted to get myself fit and strong enough to compete and not let anyone down.

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"Over 20 times in the last few months I’ve been to the Donald McCain yard at Cholmondeley, Cheshire, before work, getting on the gallops at 7.40am.

“During the Betfred World Snooker Championship in Sheffield, where I was working, I switched to Scott Dixon’s yard at Retford to continue my training.

"And recently I’ve been to Andy Crook’s yard at Middleham. I originally got to know the Crook family because Andy’s daughter Amy won £5,000 from Betfred for having being first out of the hat in our best turned out horse draw.

"Andy kindly allowed me to use one of his horses, Crakehall Lad, a six year old chestnut gelding, whose stable name is Crackers. “

Caroline, who invested over £700 on boots, a back protector, riding hat and breeches, said: “It is vital you not only look the part but are protected as we rode at more than 30mph, which can be dangerous as well as exhilarating.

"I now have a unique appreciation of how just incredibly tough and brave jockeys need to be to compete at the highest level.”