Kildare woman Martina Dempsey won the Corinthian Challenge Charity Race in aid of Irish Injured Jockey at The Curragh Racecourse today. Fair Damsel trained by local trainer Richard Brabazon stole the race in the closing stages as Dempsey delivered a perfectly timed finish to beat long-time leader Noble Anthem in the final stages.
Martina who grew up near to the Curragh Racecourse had plenty of family and friends at the County Kildare track cheering her home. Involved with horses from a young age, her first job was with Trainer Frank Ennis and since then she has gained much experience working with many other trainers at home and in Australia.
In October 2021, she joined the Godolphin Flying Start team as Ireland Coordinator. Prior to that she served as an Equine Lecturer at the College of Agriculture Food and Rural Enterprise (CAFRE), the Racing Academy and Centre of Education (RACE) and Kildalton College. She has pursued a fine career in education within the Irish Thoroughbred industry. Martina has a Master’s Degree in Applied Equine Science (UCD) and a Degree in Equine Management (CAFRE). She has also completed a Mental Health First Aid course which is accredited by Mental Health First Aid Ireland.
Speaking after the race she commented: “Ah it just felt amazing, I’m just so happy! I was really excited about today so, I’m just so happy especially for the mare and for Dick and to have all my family and friends here it’s just brilliant and it’s extra special close to home!”
The Corinthian Challenge is a three-race series open to amateurs who want to fundraise in a unique way while enjoying the experience of a lifetime. A field of 11 riders went to post in the challenge today with one more race at Leopardstown to look forward to.
Each rider sites a different reason for their participation, for some it simply offers the chance to experience the life of a professional jockey horse-racing at some of Ireland’s best racecourses. For most participants the reasons are personal, many challengers have close connections to those who have benefitted from the charity over the years and want to give something back.
The colourful mix of participants hail from Antrim to Kilkenny with interesting day jobs from the managing director of a road haulage company to an engineer all taking part, every rider brings with them a unique story to tell. Their commitment is substantial, in addition to training, riding out, getting race fit and staying sound throughout the three-month series, each rider has been tasked with a fundraising target of €10,000. Donations can be assigned to individual riders’ fundraising campaigns on the Corinthian Challenge online Enthuse platform.
Michael Higgins, Irish Injured Jockeys General Manager said: “The Corinthian Challenge is Irish Injured Jockey’s major annual fundraising event and we are so grateful to all of those who take part, it is a major commitment and the funds they raise are vital to our charity and all that we do here Irish Injured Jockeys. I am delighted for Martina who rode a brilliant race and I would like to say a massive well done to everyone who took part”
All participants continue to raise awareness, fundraise and train in the meantime, to support them visit the www.corinthianchallenge.com where you can donate to their individual enthuse fundraising pages. The final race of the charity race series will take place at Leopardstown Racecourse on October 21st.
Photo Credit Healy Racing