'Jog for Jockeys' attracts big names for fundraiser
JOHNNY Murtagh is among the top riders who are looking forward to taking part in the annual 'Jog for Jockeys' day on Sunday afternoon.
Last year over 780 people took part in the inaugural staging of the 5km event, raising €25,000 for the Irish Jockeys Accident Fund.
The fund is dedicated to helping injured jockeys whenever needed and has helped more than 1,000 jockeys over 40 years who have had their careers ended due to injury.
The event will take place at noon at three racecourses - the Curragh, Leopardstown and Limerick.
Murtagh will be joined by actor and former comedian Paddy Courtney at the Curragh.
"It's a great cause and there are a lot of people putting a lot of work into it," said Murtagh.
"I wish I could say I was helping in a big way, but really I'm just going to turn up on the day. Hopefully we should get a good turnout at each of the three courses.
"There are a lot of people out running at the moment as people are thinking about their health, so hopefully people will come along and jog with the jockeys.
"People can walk or run, so it should be a good event and hopefully plenty of money is raised."
An illustrious team of jockeys head for Limerick.
Seven-time Irish champion jockey Ruby Walsh is scheduled to be joined by 17-time British Champion Jockey Tony McCoy, as well as local leading rider Andrew McNamara.
McNamara said: "Hopefully it will be a successful day, as it's a really great cause. It's only 5km so it can be as stressful as you want it to be.
"I'm sure a few of the lads will be taking it fairly seriously. I used to be big into running but my body can't handle it these days.
"Tony McCoy and Ruby Walsh will be there and Johnny Murtagh is going to the Curragh, so it's great some of the top jockeys are involved.
"But we have to remember we're raising money for some of the lesser known jockeys who get injured and sometimes we don't even hear about the really serious injuries."
Reigning Irish champion jockey Davy Russell will be the star attraction at Leopardstown, joined by musician Mick Foster.
Russell said: "It's a great cause and there are some great folk involved, so I'm just pleased to support it.
"We'll be trying our best to get plenty of sponsors and raise plenty of money. It's a marvellous cause and it should be a good day."