While William Buick was celebrating winning the coveted Epsom Derby on Saturday 2nd June, Page Fuller was celebrating her own special victory at neighbouring Lingfield Park.
The amateur jockey – far more used to riding thoroughbreds on the jumps tracks – took to Lingfield’s all-weather track on the back of the winner of the Showerking Flying Feathers Shire Horse Victory Stakes, Major Jack Seely.
Winning the race was made even more special for Page, as it was in front of her father Robert, the former President of the Shire Horse Society.
Six top jockeys saddled up on the huge horses to compete in a two-furlong race in a bid to win the coveted title. Page, the only female jockey, just managed to pip Mattie Batchelor to the post on the oldest horse in the race.
Hurst Green Shires said it was delighted to return to its neighbouring track. “Lingfield Park is where we started the Shire Horse Race five years ago and we are delighted to have returned.” Said Jax Gardiner, who runs Hurst Green Shires with Cheryl Daly.
“This year is very appropriate as the Shires played such a crucial role in WW1 and this is the 100th commemorative year of the end of The Great War.
The reason we first started this in 2013 was to highlight the versatility of the shire as it remains an endangered breed. Our shires absolutely love to come to Lingfield and show off on the day! For those who haven’t seen them, the sight and sound of them galloping down the track is quite something.”
David Toulson-Burke, Executive Director of Lingfield Park Resort, said he was delighted to welcome back the shires, who took to the track before the thoroughbreds. He said: “This is always a hugely popular feature of our summer racedays and the jump jockeys who take part in this race absolutely love the challenge.
We are thrilled to once again be working with Showerking, the sponsors, and Hurst Green Shires, to host this race.”
Racegoers were also able to meet some of the racing shires after they had competed and learn about this fascinating breed with the help of the Hurst Green Shires team.
“Despite their size, these are some of the most gentle horses you will ever meet,” added Jax. “We run all sorts of different activities at Hurst Green ranging from a hack for people who have never sat on a horse before, to rides for the more experienced.
We are also proud to have worked closely with the Royal British Legion over the past four years as part of the First World War tribute and indeed, will be back at Lingfield Park with at least one of our shires at the end of July when the racecourse hosts a WW1 Commemorative Raceday.”