Heather Heffernan from Vicarstown, Co. Laois – who has been inspired by the work of Irish Injured Jockeys (IIJ) – is competing in the Corinthian Challenge Race Series.
The three-race series will be held at The Curragh, Cork and Leopardstown in July, September and October.
“I have decided to ride this year to give back. Being an owner and working in the industry, I know the higher risks that come with the sport,” she told That’s Farming.
“The aim is to raise funds through Irish Injured Jockeys and help injured riders who are in most need of support.”
“My boyfriend James Fahey trains horses; we have horses for the track, young horses for the point-to-point route, breakers and pre-trainers,” she added.
Each of the fifteen riders – all of which have passed their RACE assessments and are fully licenced to participate - are aiming to raise €10,000 through sponsorship and/or fundraising.
In order to reach her target, Heather – who works on the family beef and sheep farm – is raffling a pedigree Limousin heifer; the raffle is being held in Leinster Marts on July 31st and tickets are priced at €50.
“I suppose you can take the girl off the farm but never the farm out of the girl.” she laughed.
“The reason I picked this heifer is that she is dual-purpose - she could enter a suckler herd or go for beefing.” the young farmer explained.
The Laois native has secured sponsorship from TBFcentral (The Business Fairy) - a digital marketing company.
“All my advertising, posters and videos have been completed by the firm and along with being my main sponsor, they have also given me a horse to ride in the races; Jazz Ranger,” she concluded.
“No amount of money is too small. There is not one person in Ireland that they will go to races for the day.”
“Well, without the IIJ, race days would be few and far between with the higher risk and injuries that jockeys sustain.”