By 2018 Nathaniel Hone
Today was the last day of the season at Hereford Racecourse and is traditionally a charity day. This year, the chosen charity was St. Michael's Hospice. A special lunch as well as the last race (and another as well) was sponsored by the Clive and Sylvia Richards Charity. This charity has been a very generous donor to many causes in Herefordshire, in particular health and Education and, especially St. Michael's.
A large crown assembled both outside and at the gala lunch where much was raised in the auction and raffle. Then followed an afternoon of racing where money flowed back and forth between the bookies or Tote and the punters.
The last race is the St. Michael's Hospice Charity Race sponsored by the Amateur Jockeys' Association. As an amateur affair, it is exempted by the British Horseracing Authority from the effect of Rule 38 whereby the race does not count for any purposes on the horse's racing career. 12 horses, jockeys with anxious trainers looking on assembled for the off. One horse was not keen to assemble and got rather left behind but ran like the wind to catch up when the race started. It was the only race of the day entirely on the flat (to the relief of a course vet we knew).
Many thousands of pounds were raised for the Hospice, much need since the running costs are around £5.3m/year. See their 2018 accounts here. You will find a wealth of information of how may patients are treated.