Limerick charity race day expected to raise more than €600k
Donations still coming in for injured jockeys after 10,500 attend meeting
Ruby Walsh was amongst the many jockeys to turn up at Limerick’s charity race day. Photograph: Lorraine O’Sullivan/Inpho
Limerick’s charity race day, in aid of the Jockeys Emergency Fund and to support the rehabilitation efforts of JT McNamara and Jonjo Bright, is expected to raise more than €600,000.
Donations are still coming in and the Limerick Charity Raceday committee will issue a report in two weeks’ time.
A crowd of 10,500 descended on the Patrickswell circuit on Monday as trainers, jockeys, owners and racegoers supported the specially-arranged fixture.
Top National Hunt and Flat jockeys from the United Kingdom and Ireland, including Tony McCoy, Richard Johnson, Ruby Walsh, Pat Smullen, Kieren Fallon and Johnny Murtagh gave up their time for their seriously-injured colleagues.
The highlight of the day’s fundraising activity was a two-part auction which ran during and after racing.
The silent auction raised approximately €25,000 from 60 lots ranging from racing yard visits to water-skiing lessons.
In the auction after racing, €251,000 was raised for 32 lots. The top bid of €55,000 came for the set of plain pale grey racing silks, donated by Horse Racing Ireland, and bought by Sue Magnier.
Michael O’Rourke, HRI marketing director and member of the Charity Raceday Committee said: “The Irish racing community and general public responded with characteristic generosity and enthusiasm to the theme of our campaign – ‘Be There for JT and Jonjo’.
“Sponsorship and hospitality sold out quickly and we had a job to manage the sheer volume of items donated for the charity auctions.
“Over 10,000 people came through the gates on a Monday afternoon to demonstrate their support in person.
“The goodwill from the raceday continues and we are still receiving donations, so the final total will probably exceed €600,000, well beyond our most optimistic forecast.”