Woman Riding a Horse

Meet The Team

Mark Williams

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Hi my name is Mark Williams.


There is so much to this. It’s incredible. The planning is .....well fun.  We’d like to turn up at racecourses when it’s race day, whenever possible. If your involved in racing you will know, it’s a logistical nightmare.

 

We are hopefully going to be joined on the way round by trainers, jockeys, owners, race goers, commentators, horses even, the list is endless.  It’s one heck of a distance and quite frankly makes Lands End to John O Groats look like a Sunday stroll.  We need to get a lot of things in place from a support vehicle to a cobbler even. So if your friend is head of PR at New Balance, for example,  or even if you’d like to get involved in some way please contact us.

 

Heck we need a driver maybe for the support vehicle.  We will look to a chain for hotels, another outfit for clothing gear and so on.  It’s a mammoth task.  The Injured Jockey Fund have even suggested we stay with them on the way round.  As we say it’s growing.  

 

Sometimes you need to to do something bold. So this is it.  I love racing. I can explain why but I’ve my own reasons for doing this and to make a difference.  
 

Only my kids and close friends know this or well did until now, now everyone reading this will.  My dad and his dad both died at 53 from a heart attack so I’ve just hit 53. Yes I can hear you all. Nooo.  So when Graham had this idea in November 2020 I jumped at the chance to make a difference for others and a challenge for me.

Yes I’ll be 54 when this happens.  It will also make a massive difference for these three charities.

Graham Arnold

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Hi, my name is Graham Arnold and I would like to tell you a little bit about me and my reasons for doing this.

 

I am 56 years old and have been a racing fan since my Mum and Dad took me to Epsom Downs Racecourse as a kid where the thrill of seeing the magnificent animals in action gripped me.


Following on from raising money for stable staff through a campaign called 4 Racing v COVID 19 this year I was inspired to do something bigger and more ambitious.


It had always been an ambition of mine to visit every racecourse in the UK and driving would be too easy and would not capture anyone's imagination so I came up with the mad idea to walk to them.


As soon as I told Mark Williams what I wanted to do he was hooked too.


I am taking unpaid leave from my job to give me time to complete this challenge.


We will have to adapt the route as we wish to visit as many courses as we can when they are racing. But every single course will be walked to from another course even if the circuit is broken at times as logistically it is not possible to achieve.


It seems like we are announcing and telling people very early but much planning is needed and the better it is planned the more likely we are to achieve our aims.
I have a figure in mind that I want us to raise for these three fantastic charities but will keep that to myself for now. All three; Alzheimer's Society, Macmillan Cancer Support & The Injured Jockeys Fund are excited by the walk and are fully behind us.


We will not be able to do this without help and sponsorship from various people and organisations and we are talking to these contacts and arranging meetings already.


I am really hoping the racing press get behind us and make this as successful as we are hoping it will be.
The walk will be tough but with guest walkers and support from you all, I am determined to achieve all we are setting out to do.


Hope to see you on the walk during 2022.

Brian Hughes   
(Brand Ambassador)

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Brian was delighted to be involved when we asked him about being an ambassador for Course to Course. He said:  I’m happy to be involved and to help raise money/awareness for the three great charities."

Brian Hughes won the British jump racing Champion Jockey title for the 2019–20 season with 141 winners. Brian comes from County Armagh but is based in Northern England and became the first champion jockey based in the North since Jonjo O'Neill won the title in 1980.

Ceri Eccles   
(Course to Course's Personal Assistant)

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As an avid fan of horses and horseracing I was never going to say no to helping out with the mammoth event thought up by the two madmen that are Mark & Graham.


However this event isn’t about us, it’s about people and the charities we are supporting.

Whether it be your husband, wife, son, daughter or best friend, we will all know someone who has been affected.

Whilst we try to work our way through this pandemic we aim to plan an event that everyone can get involved in and follow in 2022. Let’s look for a little bit of positivity.

Helen Swire   
(Social Media & Marketing Executive)

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I've followed horse racing since childhood, spending happy days in the rain and mud at Bangor-on-Dee and getting more excited about the Grand National than about most birthdays and Christmases. I'm a financial journalist, but started writing about horse racing in my spare time in 2017, after losing my dad.

 

At his funeral, Dad's chosen charities were the Injured Jockeys Fund and MacMillan Cancer Support - so when I first read about Course to Course, it felt like it was 'meant to be'.

 

In my spare time, I'm going to be helping Graham and Mark get the word out there about this incredible endeavour through interviews, blogs and social media. And then next year I'll be getting the walking boots on for some of the legs of the journey...wish us luck!