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Broadcaster Clare Balding helps hospice raise almost £14,000

09 November 2017

Broadcaster Clare Balding has helped St Michael’s Hospice in Hereford raise almost £14,000 at a fundraising event.

Nearly 400 people attended the event at Hereford arts centre The Courtyard, where Clare talked about a range of subjects spanning her early days as an amateur flat jockey – and an encounter with an unhappy Princess Anne following a race in which Clare pipped the Royal’s horse to the finish line – to interviewing the likes of Prince Harry and Angelina Jolie.

The audience learned about her family’s horse racing history, particularly that of her father, Ian, who trained the horse Mill Reef to victory in The Derby, Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe and King George VI Stakes in 1971, the year Clare was born.

She said:

“If you ask my dad what happened in 1971, before saying it was the year I was born, he will say “that was the year Mill Reef won The Derby, the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe and so on.”

Clare also spoke about London 2012 when she received rave reviews for her Olympic coverage from both the media and public. She talked about one interview in particular following South African Chad Le Clos’ swimming victory over American Michael Phelps in the 200 metre butterfly final. Shortly after the win she conducted a live interview with Bert, Chad’s father.

She said:

“I think I only asked him one question and then did not need to speak again. He was just bursting with pride. I saw him soon after and he said, “Clare, we have gone viral”.”

Clare appeared with fellow broadcaster and friend, Eleanor Oldroyd, and the event was compered by BBC Radio Five Live’s Horse Racing correspondent, Cornelius Lysaght.

The Courtyard audience took part in an auction of five lots which raised a combined £1,100 for St Michael’s Hospice. The top lot, which went for £500, was a pair of Arena Racing Company (ARC) season tickets, allowing the successful bidder to visit meetings at any of the 16 ARC courses around the country next year. The auction, along with a raffle and the tickets for the event helped the hospice raise the total sum. 

Clare also signed copies of her books, The Racehorse Who Wouldn’t Gallop, and her latest, The Racehorse Who Disappeared. 

For more information visit St Michael’s Hospice

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