Military jockeys to compete at Sandown

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Military jockeys from all three services will take part in the Grand Military Gold Cup at Sandown on March 9th, it has been revealed.

Many of the 16 jockeys taking part have recently returned from Afghanistan and include a Red Arrows pilot and a Royal Marine Commando.

For many it will be the first time they have competed on such a demanding course and is sure to provide plenty of entertainment for all equine insurance customers in attendance at the meeting.

The Grand Military Gold Cup provides servicemen and women with the unique opportunity to ride at one of Britain's most prestigious National Hunt racecourses.

"You need a lot of courage, fitness and strength to control a powerful racehorse – all the qualities that you look for in a soldier on the battlefield in Afghanistan," jockey representative on the Gold Cup race committee Major Erica Bridges said.

The Grand Military Race Meeting has been held every year on the Friday before the Cheltenham National Hunt Festival since 1841 and has been specifically held at Sandown since 1881.

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