Love Island star to race at York

- Chris Hughes to train as a jockey and ride in The Best Western Hotels and Macmillan Ride of Their Lives at York Racecourse on Saturday 16 June

- Chris and his partner, Olivia Attwood, have both also signed as Coral Ambassadors for the wider racing season

The biggest charity raceday in Britain, Macmillan Charity Day at York,  will have an extra profile on Saturday 16 June, as Love Island finalist, Chris Hughes has been announced as a participant in the Best Western Hotels and Macmillan Ride of Their Lives, as the finale to the day’s action.

Celebrity power couple, Chris Hughes and Olivia Attwood, have been named as official Coral Ambassadors for the upcoming major horse racing events under the strapline #LoveRacing.

Celebrities of the moment Chris Hughes and Olivia Attwood found fame on ITV’s Love Island, but it is their love of horses and racing that caught bookmaker Coral’s eye.

Coral is bringing the #LoveRacing campaign to life by teaming up with Chris Hughes on a challenging and thrilling project that will see the reality TV star transform himself into a jockey under the tutelage of legendary trainer Jonjo O’Neill. Also a legendary jockey, over a career with many jumping landmarks, Jonjo partnered Sea Pigeon to a famous victory in the Ebor, over the Knavesmire.

Leading bookmaker, Coral, is sponsoring Chris, who is fundraising for Macmillan Cancer Support in the build up to the race:

To ensure he is ready for the Best Western Hotels and Macmillan Ride of Their Lives charity race, Chris will be undertaking months of intensive training, working with leading Jump trainer, Jonjo O’Neill, at his state of the art training facility at Jackdaws Castle, in the Cotswolds.

Their genuine passion for horses and racing made Chris – a keen rider himself – and Olivia an obvious choice to become Coral Ambassadors. Coral will be working with the couple on promotional activity throughout the racing season including personal appearances and social media campaigns for the big racing meets of the season.

Along the way Chris will share his journey and training with his fans on social media, and Coral will be documenting Chris’s journey on Coral TV and across its social media channels. Chris is well-connected within horse racing, numbering a host of well-known jockeys and high-profile trainers amongst his close friends.

Chris Hughes
said of the partnership: “I love horse racing and grew up riding with my friends in Cheltenham. I’m really excited to be working with Coral and very grateful to Jonjo O’Neill for his support, as I prepare for entering the Best Western Hotels & Macmillan Ride of their Lives race at York Racecourse. I always wanted to become a jockey as a kid, and Coral is helping make my dream come true. But I don’t just want to take part – I want to really go for it, and try to win my first race as a jockey!”

Olivia Attwood commented: “Working with Coral feels really natural for me and Chris, as we really love horses and I’m a big fan of the races. I’m really looking forward to enjoying the horse racing season this year.”

Jonjo O’Neill, said: “We have known Chris and his family for many years, and so naturally we are absolutely delighted to be supporting him as he prepares for his goal to become a jockey for the day in the Ride of Their Lives Charity Race, for a brilliant cause in Macmillan Cancer Support.”

Coral PR Director Simon Clare said: “Over the next few months the biggest race meetings in the calendar are taking place, from Cheltenham to Aintree, Epsom to Royal Ascot, and this exciting new partnership with Chris and Olivia, will help us to promote these top class events to a whole new audience. When we approached Chris with the opportunity of training to be a jockey and riding in a horse race, he jumped at the chance, but he is not content with just taking part, he is absolutely determined to win, and with the help of the brilliant Jonjo O’Neill and his team, I wouldn’t bet against him.”

Anthea Morshead, Assistant Clerk of the Course at York
, said “It’s a huge challenge for our dozen intrepid amateurs, but having met Chris I can see he is up for the challenge and already knows his way around a horse. The next four months will be pretty intense as he both trains and raises funds but I’m confident that he’ll love the experience.”

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