12:00am 16th May 2012
Two days ago (14th May 2012) a paralysed former stable lad, started out on a 110 miles cross Yorkshire from Redcar Racecourse to Doncaster Racecourse in his specialist hand cycle with the hope of raising £100,000 for the charity that he claims literally saved his life.
Today (16th May 2012) Paul 'Barney' Bamfordwill travel from Malton to Ecrick, half way through his challenge.
Barney worked as a stable lad and work-rider for 12 years for Barry Hills in Lambourn before taking up a position with Spanish based trainer Les Eyre. It was here in 2006 that Barney sustained a fall from a racehorse that left him paralysed from the chest down. In the immediate aftermath of his accident, Racing Welfare funded his emergency air lift back to the Spinal Injuries unit at the Northern General Hospital in Sheffield, in the intervening years the Charity has helped him and his family with the provision of specialist housing, wheelchairs, standing frames and retraining courses.
To help support Racing Welfare and other racing staff, who like him have suffered severe injuries from falls and kicks, the 41 year old, who lives near Sheffield with his wife and two Children has set himself a herculean physical Challenge. 'Barney's Challenge' starts on the 14th May when he sets off from Redcar Racecourse on his specially adapted Hand Cycle with his arrival planned at Doncaster Racecourse six days later on the 19th May. During the 110 mile trek he will cross the North Yorks Moors, visiting racing yards, the leading racehorse training centre of Malton and York Racecourse for the Betfred Dante meeting. His journey equates to 5 marathons in 6 days, with him relying upon nothing more than arm power and a huge amount of determination.
Barney Bamford explains why he is putting himself through such agony:
"I wouldn't be here without Racing Welfare, they have helped me so much since my accident; the Welfare Officers are truly incredible. Many people who watch racing only see Jockeys falling off; they don't know that the majority of accidents happen to stable staff out on the gallops or in stable yards. I am trying to raise £100,000 to support Racing Welfare's work in helping stable lads and lasses who suffer serious injuries. The Charity not only helps with wheelchairs and housing but they are also always there to talk to and provide support when times get tough."
Barney's Challenge is not merely physical; it is also a Challenge to racing fans throughout the country to do something to raise money to help stable staff in times of need. Golf matches, a sponsored slim, cross country foot races and football matches are already planned to help Barney raise his total. Racing Welfare's Fundraising and Communications Executive Richard Negus explains "Barney is one of the 600 plus stable staff who are seriously injured each year. The lads and lasses behind the scenes in racing are all too often the forgotten people in the sport. We would like to encourage anyone who loves a day at the races to either donate on line to www.JustGiving.com/BarneysChallenge or better still do something physically challenging during May to raise money and help Barney reach his target. Personally I think he is crazy going all that way in his wheelchair, and I am glad that I am merely driving his support vehicle, they don't make many people as tough as Barney"
About- Barneys Challenge:
- Day 1- 14th May Redcar Racecourse- Castleton (14.2 miles).
- Day 2- 15th May Castleton - Malton (27 miles).
- Day 3- 16th May Malton- Escrick (27.4 miles)
- Day 4 17th May- Escrick to York Racecourse (6.2 miles) for the Betfred Dante Meeting
- Day 5 18th May- York Racecourse to Goole (20.5 miles)
- Day 6 19th May- Goole to Doncaster Racecourse (17.1 miles) Finale up the home straight.
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