Richard Woollacott tributes to be staged at Cheltenham on Festival Trials Day 


Cheltenham are encouraging donations to three charities chosen by Richard Woollacott’s wife Kayley. Pic: (Courtesy of Jockey Club Racecourses).

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CHELTENHAM Racecourse is holding a minute’s silence at Festival Trials Day on Saturday in memory of trainer Richard Woollacott who died earlier this week aged 40.

Cheltenham is encouraging racegoers to make donations to three charities chosen by Richard Woollacott’s wife Kayley – Mind, the Injured Jockeys Fund and the Devon Air Ambulance.

The minute’s silence will happen at 3.20pm, 15 minutes before the scheduled off-time of the Grade 2 Cleeve Hurdle in which Beer Goggles, now trained by Kayley Woollacott, will run.

As an incentive for racegoers to make donations, anyone doing so has the chance to win a table for four at the new Theatre@ The Festival restaurant during The Festival in March.

The Injured Jockeys Fund today (Friday) issued a statement on behalf of Kayley Woollacott.

It reads: “I would like to thank everyone for their messages of support. The racing industry has shown a huge amount of compassion for Richard and us during this tragic time.

“Richard was a much-loved husband, father, son, brother and friend. He was also a talented jockey and trainer who achieved many amazing things. Sadly, after battling with it for many years, he lost his life to mental illness.

“While nothing will bring Richard back, I feel there is more there could, and should, be done to help others. I have therefore established an online fundraising site in aid of three important charities in Richard’s memory:

“1. ‘Mind’ who raise awareness of the serious issue of mental health and to encourage people to speak up

“2. The Injured Jockeys Fund, a charity close to Richard’s heart, which supports his fellow riders and industry colleagues

“3. The Devon Air Ambulance which provides urgent medical assistance to the people of Richard’s home county

“Beer Goggles will run on Saturday at Cheltenham Racecourse in memory of Richard. Whilst it will be a very emotional day for everybody, it is important that we celebrate all of Richard’s hard work and continue with his plan for this special horse. I’d welcome everyone to attend in support.

“The Jockey Club and Great British Racing have been hugely supportive and will pay tribute to Richard throughout the raceday in aiding these fundraising efforts.”

Ian Renton, regional director of Jockey Club Racecourses South West, added: “Cheltenham Racecourse wants to support the Woollacott family as much as possible at this sad and difficult time.

“We are keen to encourage donations to the three very worthwhile charities nominated by Kayley, as well as holding a minute’s silence in memory of Richard Woollacott.”

For those wanting to make online donations to the three charities, please go to

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