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Yesterday (17 October) Wetherby Racecourse hosted some exciting racing and a major fundraising day for pioneering medical research charity, Spinal Research.

Over 450 guests enjoyed great hospitality in the Spinal Research marquee where the fundraising activities were focused. Raffles, auctions and collections all contributed to the atmosphere and helped in raising a £20,000 profit – a phenomenal result for the charity.

Guest of honour jockeys JP McNamara and Richard Dunwoody, both keen supporters of Spinal Research, helped with the auction, which itself raised £11,000, and included a bespoke hat from local milliner, Woody Whittick.

This Race Day, the seventeenth consecutive annual event for Spinal Research at Wetherby Racecourse, has brought in over £260,000 for the charity. Spinal Research is giving hope to thousands of people confined to life in a wheelchair. The money raised will go towards turning hope into reality.

Spinal Research would like to thank everyone involved – including sponsors, supporters, lunch guests, donors, CGC catering and Wetherby Racecourse – and the Friends of Rachel who organised the day.

Next year’s Spinal Research Race Day at Wetherby is on Wednesday 15 October. For more information, please contact: Jil Hartley on 01759 373700 or 07969 675090.

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Notes to Editors:
o Long-term supporter Rachel Wright organised this Charity Race Day at Wetherby for 15 years and raised some £237,000 for Spinal Research in that time. Rachel was a remarkable woman and lived her life to the full although she had broken her back in a riding accident when she was just 21. Sadly Rachel passed away in 2006 but her friends have since taken on the challenge of running the event in memory of Rachel and to help progress in the research and repair of damaged spinal cords – something long thought impossible.
o Established in 1980, Spinal Research raises money for groundbreaking projects at scientific and medical institutions around the world. In every aspect of its activities, whether in raising funds or in allocating funds to research projects, Spinal Research works in accordance with the highest scientific and ethical principles and currently receives no direct funding from the UK government.
o The spinal cord, part of the central nervous system, cannot repair itself unaided. Spinal cord injury is about more than paralysis of the arms, legs and torso; it also affects sensation, the body’s control systems and sexual function.
o The typical victim of spinal cord injury is a young, active person, often the victim of a road accident or fall. More than 40,000 people in the UK are paralysed as a result of damage to the spinal cord, and around 800 more are added to this list every year. The average age at which paralysis occurs is young – just 19 or 20.

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