Photo gallery: Big comeback beckons for 61-year-old rider Frances and horse Rocky

Frances Shipley with her horse Rocky who will take part in the charity flat race at Fakenham Racecourse on Sunday. Picture: Matthew Usher. Frances Shipley with her horse Rocky who will take part in the charity flat race at Fakenham Racecourse on Sunday. Picture: Matthew Usher.

Friday, May 16, 2014
11:36 AM

He might not be an Italian Stallion but just like his big screen namesake, this four-legged fighter is coming out of retirement for one last taste of glory.

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Point-to-point meeting

Eight riders will brave a 12-furlong charity flat race on Sunday at the annual West Norfolk Foxhounds point-to-point meeting at Fakenham racecourse.

The race will feature local riders on horses that have

been regularly hunted this season.

None of the horses has raced in the last year and their riders will be hoping to raise plenty of cash for their chosen good causes.

As well as a six-race point-to-point card, there will be pony races, the charity race and a parade of the hounds led by Matthew Puffer, kennel huntsman for the West Norfolk Foxhounds.

There will also be trade stands, refreshments, bars, climbing walls and a boulder mountain for youngsters.

The pony races take place at 12.30pm and 12.45pm followed by the parade of hounds, with the charity race at 1.15pm.

The first point-to-point race is at 2pm with the last race due off at 4.30pm.

In the charity race, the runners and riders are Ain Tecbalet ridden by Remy Powell, Birdwatch and Andrew Kendall, Caughtontheriver and Tilly Ward, Anglicisme and Laura Eyles, Doddle Eile and Rachel Hall, Right On The Dot and Emma Ryan, Rockfield and Frances Shipley and

The Pipers Son and Kim Goldspink.

Other charities the riders are raising funds include The East Anglian Air Ambulance Spinal Research and Cancer Research UK.

The charity race is sponsored by Julie Abbs Catering.

Racing horse Rockfield, who is better known as Rocky, and his owner Frances Shipley are coming out of retirement this weekend to help make the lives of cancer patients a little bit brighter.

The pair will take to the start line at the charity flat race at the West Norfolk meeting at Fakenham Racecourse on Sunday.

Mrs Shipley, 61, from North Elmham, has not raced for 41 years herself and it will be retired Rocky’s first race in three years.

They will race in aid of the Sunshine Ladies, a charity which raises funds to buy equipment for the cancer unit at the Norfolk and Norfolk University Hospital.

Mrs Shipley, who helps out at Get Smart in Fakenham and whose daughter Remy Powell will also take part in the race with her horse Tec, said: “It will be fun - obviously there’s a slight element of ‘oh, gosh, what have I let myself in for?’ but it will be fun.”

She added: “The Sunshine Ladies is a really worthwhile cause because although the unit up at the Norfolk and Norwich does amazing things, the Sunshine Ladies make the treatment a little bit nicer by providing things like mirrors and hairdryers, things that can’t be provided by the NHS.

“While I will have three minutes of going fast and being slightly scared, it’s nothing compared to what those girls at the cancer unit are going through.”

To donate, send cheques payable to Sunshine Ladies, c/o Ann Bush, Holly Farm, Wendling, NR19 2NH or pop into Get Smart, Bridge Street, Fakenham.

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