Third centre for the IJF

The Injured Jockeys Fund, which plays a significant role in supporting jockeys past and present to recover from injuries, is looking forward to the opening of a third rehabilitation and fitness centre in 2019, to add to its current two bases.
Oaksey House, Lambourn was opened in 2009, followed by the Jack Berry House at Malton five years ago. Now next year will see the opening of a third centre, the Peter O’ Sullevan House in Newmarket.
Work is underway to build the third centre on land of Snailwell Road, adjacent to the British Racing School,  Located next to the British Racing School it will provide natural links to jockeys of the future.

Jockeys benefit from support of the Injured Jockeys Fund when they are injured
Photo: Jeannie Knight

It will also be the new base of the charity, Injured Jockeys Fund. This fund does vital fundraising work to ensure there is medical support for injured jockeys of all ages who need it.
Sir Peter O’ Sullevan, renowned as a top racing commentator, was a lifelong supporter of jockeys and this new project has been facilitated thanks to a substantial bequest from his charitable trust.
Born in Newcastle in March 1918, he died in London in 2015.  His life had been spent as a renowed Irish/British horse racing commentator for the BBC, and also as a correspondent for the Press Association, Daily Express and Today.
Other notable contributors to the project are the Thompson Family Charitable Trust and the Racing Foundation- but more support will also be needed during the coming year.
Members of the public who help by donating £100 or more to the initiative will be allocated a horseshoe that will be used to create an imaginative Horse Shoe Sculpture in the grounds of Peter O’ Sullevan House. The sculpture will use around 800 racing plates worn  by horses from Newmarket.
The new house will provide state-of-the-art rehabilitation and fitness facilities, including physio treatment rooms and a hydrotherapy pool, as well as a gym, the IJF Head Office and a meeting and work space for those using the centre.
It is hoped the new facility will be open by next summer, including the Peter O’ Sullevan Atrium, containing memorabilia from his life.

Jockey Leighton Aspell Photo: Jeannie Knight

Meanwhile the valuable work by this charity continues to help injured jockeys- including Sussex-based Leighton Aspell. He fractured a vertebrae in his neck  during a fall at Hereford at the end of March and he wore a neck brace for six weeks. He revealed that use of the pool enabled him to use his lower limbs freely and said the upgraded facilities at Oaksey House were ‘magnificent’.
Sessions in the gym and new hydrothrapy pool at Oaksey House, enabled Leighton to return to the saddle with a winner, Captain Peacock, at  Bangor-on-Dee in August.
The Injured Jockeys Fund, which plays a significant role in supporting jockeys past and present to recover from injuries, is looking forward to the opening of a third rehabilitation and fitness centre in 2019, to add to its current two bases. 

HRH Princess Royal at opening of the Jack Berry House  Photo courtesy of IJF

Oaksey House, Lambourn was opened in 2009, followed by the Jack Berry House at Malton five years ago. Now next year will see the opening of a third centre,  the Peter O’ Sullevan house in Newmarket. 
             
Work is underway to build the third centre on land of Snailwell Road, adjacent to the British Racing School,  Located next to the British Racing School it will provide natural links to jockeys of the future.
It will also be the new base of the charity, Injured Jockeys Fund. This fund does vital fundraising work to ensure there is medical support for injured jockeys of all                  ages who need it.

Former jockey Andrew Thornton using IJF facilities to recover from injury. Photo courtesy of IJF

 Members of the public who help by donating £100 or more to the initiative will be allocated a horseshoe that will be used to create an imaginative Horse Shoe Sculpture in the grounds of Peter O’ Sullevan House. The sculpture will use around 800 racing plates worn  by horses from Newmarket.
The new house will provide state-of-the-art rehabilitation and fitness facilities, including physio treatment rooms and a hydrotherapy pool, as well as a gym, the IJF Head Office and a meeting and work space for those using the centre.
It is hoped the new facility will be open by next summer, including the Peter O’ Sullevan Atrium, containing memorabilia from his life.
One person who plays a vital role with the Injured Jockey Fund  is Lucy Charnock of Arundel. No two days are the same for Lucy , who works as an almoner for the Injured Jockeys Fund.

Lucy at her desk Photo: Jeannie Knight

She can spend an afternoon at Plumpton racecourse running a stall for the fund, selling everything from the fund’s Christmas cards and calendars to tea towels featuring Grand National winners and diaries.
But a typical day in her life would be to drive more than 50 miles to collect a Red Cross wheelchair which had been loaned to a beneficiary recovering from an accident, and then go to visit someone needing help, who had applied for benefit, as well as seeing a rider who wanted rehabiliation at the fund’s Oaksey House  in Lambourn.
Lucy covers the South East area for the fund, which is a lifeline for jockeys and has its roots in a scheme established in 1964 following the horrendous accidents of riders Tim Brookshaw and four months later Paddy Farrell. Both falls resulted in severe paralysis and immediately ended two careers.
With virtually no compensation available at the time to help injured jockeys, the Farrell-Brookshaw fund was created.
Support was instantaneous and following several name changes, tireless work by many for more than 40 years, the IJF has become what it is today – a fund that has helped more than 1,000 jockeys and which is still dedicated to helping injured jockeys when ever needed and to improving safety measures.
Lucy said:” I visit those who need help and have applied for benefit- with no money coming in there are mortages and costs to meet and families to feed. Each case has to be assessed and recommendations made. 
“My area stretches West of Southampton, across the coast to Kent and includes South London.”
She deals with cases that need interim help after less serious injuries through to catastrophies such as that experienced by former trainer and jockey, Chris Kinane some years ago, who was kicked in the head by horse when saddling up another at Wolverhampton races.
“They are all inspirational, because they will not be beaten and remain positive. They all have a burning desire to get back in the saddle again,” she said.
Lucy added:“I can spend a lot of time in my car- one day I had to do three hospital visits at different places! But I love my job,
“It is very fulfilling and also very humbling. I do case reports recommending what help is needed financially and jockeys are immensely grateful to have a light at the end of the tunnel,” she said.
 
For more information on the valuable work done by the IJF see:www.ijf.org
 

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