One of the most prestigious events of the racing calendar, this week marks the beginning of the Markel Magnolia Cup, a charitable event that sees a group of inspirational women come together to race down Goodwood Racecourse’s home.
Every year sees a selection of inspiring women from backgrounds of business, sport, fashion and media come together for a charity race. Riders from all walks of life take part - none with professional jockey backgrounds but each driven to achieve greatness in sport.
This year’s line-up is hugely exciting and includes: Rosie Brandreth-Poynter, Vet and Former Great British Bake-Off contestant; Hayley Edger, former general manager at the Sussex Food Company; Kate French, gold medal winning pentathlete; Annabel Neasham, multiple Group 1 winning trainer; O’Meara Rusk, work ride at Ralph Beckett Racing; Olivia Kimber, dance teacher and multiple sclerosis sufferer; Fiona Litchefield, Royal Military Police, Soldier, cyber crime expert and operations manager at the Met Police; Kim Parker, freelance journalist; Sally Goldsmith, director of BBA Shipping; Lucy Robinson, influencer and freelance writer; Ashleigh Wicheard, work rider at Neil Mulholland Racing; and Jamie Dear, philanthropist and friend of The Brilliant Breakfast.
Ahead of the race we chatted with freelance writer and influencer, Lucy Robinson to see how she’s been preparing for the races…
Having ridden horses her whole life, it wasn’t until this charity event that she took her horse riding to the next level. “This was a bit of a big deal. I initially sent my application for the Magnolia Cup 2023, applications had long since closed for this year. However, I got a call up out of the blue explaining that one space had become available, so I jumped at the chance! Having joined a little later on in the game, I initially felt a little bit anxious and worried that perhaps I'd be a little on the back foot,” Lucy explained. After a few months her anxiety quickly transitioned into excitement and she quickly began feeling ready to get out on the course.
The training was a bit of a step up from what she had been used to however, with Lucy explaining, “As an amateur event rider, I ride my own horses every day, but race riding is a whole different kettle of fish altogether. So in terms of the riding training, it was initially a slight baptism of fire, but it's so much fun.
“The fitness training has been hugely beneficial. It's tough, there's no doubt about that, but I feel fitter now than I've ever been before.”
It’s working and training alongside a group of supportive inspiring women that kept her going, “each individual has their own story to tell, but we all have the same goal in mind: to raise as much awareness and funds for the Brilliant Breakfast charity,” she continued.
If there are any aspiring racers out there, Lucy has a few words of wisdom for you, “Take the fitness test training seriously. I Invested in a good personal trainer, she's helped me immensely with the gruelling fitness test prep, you really do need to put the hours in. Also, a friendly yard to ride out at really helps.
“The team at Amy Murphy Racing are amazing, so supportive and lovely. Don't be afraid to ask for advice, and don't be afraid to put in some really hard work. Enjoy the journey, it's not easy, but it will be a once in a lifetime opportunity!”
There is one big worry she has had in the lead up to the race. She spilled all, explaining it’s “being able to receive an elegant leg-up in the parade ring…” We wish Lucy and the rest of the racers the best of luck for the week ahead!