Having escaped the ravages of the recent winter onslaught it was positively Spring-like for the annual pilgrimage to Sandown Park and the Grand Military on the 9th Mar. What a fabulous day this always turns out to be and leading up to the following week’s Cheltenham Festival. Now several years into hosting this event in support of the military jockey committee and all they do to get aspiring military jockeys to take on the awesome challenge of the steeple chase and racing, it simply gets better and better each year!.

Grand Military Gold Cup winner Baden ridden by W Aprahamian

As always, we were both informed and entertained by our ‘resident’ equestrian expert, Simon Ledger, who added to the splendour of the day with his anecdotes around his experiences, the history of jockeys and horses and of course blessing us all with his somewhat shaky tips! Conducting a series of Q&As with a number of the jockeys brought to the suite, provided a great insight to service life whilst trying to be a jockey, the trials and tribulations of racing, and, in the case of Guy Disney, overcoming the added challenge of disability.

HRH The Princess Royal and Mrs Helen Kirkland presenting the Team Ethos Handicap Hurdle prize to Nico de Boinville who rode Soul Emotion

So, around 150 military, sponsors, guests and partners enjoyed a ‘day at the Races’ with the customary flutter with the bookies, great hospitality provided by Sandown and the traditional convivial atmosphere of another successful Team Ethos Event.

The Roving Reporter

Full race results can be seen here.

Images courtesy of Sandown Park – many thanks

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