Paraplegic former jockey seeks horse for charity challenge

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Sarah and Gypsy 2 320x426 - Paraplegic former jockey seeks horse for charity challenge

Sarah and Gypsy 2 150x150 - Paraplegic former jockey seeks horse for charity challengeA former jockey who was left a paraplegic following a hurdles race fall at Exeter Racecourse is seeking a horse to ride that will carry her on her latest challenge across Dartmoor in support of this year’s Injured Jockeys’ Fund’s 50th anniversary celebrations.
Sarah Gaisford from Buckfastleigh in South Devon will be taking part in the Liberty Trails Challenge on March 29 which will see racing legends and equine celebrities ride across Dartmoor raising money for the charity.
Sarah will lead the Racing Legends team which includes former BBC presenter and jockey Richard Pitman and former champion jockey and Channel 4 Racing presenter John Francome. Leading the celebrity cowboys will be Jenny Carr from Exeter, who also suffered a career ending injury.
The ride will be 20 miles over a pre-marked circular route on Dartmoor, taking in some of the best riding country the moorland has to offer. Sarah’s challenge is to ride as far as she can with sponsorship raised for every mile she completes. It will be followed by a ticketed charity dinner at the Arundell Arms near Lifton.
Sarah said: “I’m really excited that we are going to be doing this and I hope to raise as much money as possible for the Injured Jockeys’ Fund which has provided me with so much support. I’m so grateful to Liberty Trails for making the challenge possible. I will need to build a relationship with a horse or pony that won’t mind Dartmoor and that is relatively safe and very steady. If anyone thinks they have a suitable horse to help me complete the challenge, please do get in touch with Liberty Trails.”
Sarah was left paralysed from the waist down when she fell during a race at Exeter Racecourse in 2007. Before her accident, she was a self-confessed equine addict and lived and breathed horses. Altogether she rode 50 point-to-point winners and 14 under Rules, but following her accident she thought her life in the saddle was over.
In 2012 she started riding again and later that year she was joined by Richard Pitman and rode the famous War Horse Ride across Dartmoor thanks to Liberty Trails which provides riding holidays across Dartmoor.
Sarah said: “It was the most incredible experience and such a milestone for me. To ride across Dartmoor with Richard Pitman was something I will never forget and to think that both he and John Francome are taking part in the next challenge is incredible.”
Elaine Prior of Liberty Trails said: “I’ve always had the deepest respect for Sarah. Her courage is astonishing and when I heard she was riding regularly again, I wanted to offer her the chance to do the War Horse ride. Now we are delighted to be supporting her again in her latest challenge across Dartmoor which will involve many more people and hopefully raise a lot of money for the IJF.”
If you think you have a suitable horse or pony please contact Liberty Trails on 01822 748788 or email

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