A beginner’s guide to the Magnolia Cup
What is it?
The Magnolia Cup is a charity race ran over five and a half furlongs, which is equivalent to the length of over 12 football pitches, at the picturesque Goodwood racecourse. The race is the opening race on the third day, Ladies Day, of the Qatar Goodwood Festival. It is often known for its colour and glamour, as the jockey’s silks are designed by some of the fashion industry’s leading lights.
Who rides in it?
The race is open to 12 women who are experienced within the world of business, but not in the world of horse racing. A range of women take part, for instance this year Alby Bailey of Harper’s Bazaar is making her debut in the race, alongside CEO of TalkTalk Dido Harding, who has more equine experience. They all have one thing in common however, bravery and a drive to compete.
Who are the previous winners?
Previous winners include Camilla Henderson, daughter to top National Hunt trainer Nicky, who was victorious last year, and supermodel Edie Campbell who triumphed in 2014. Often the race includes past riders, and this year Victoria Gray, Alexis Green, Dido Harding, Emily Baxendale and Shadi Halliwell return.
And here is what happened in the 2016 Magnolia Cup
Why do they do it?
In the last five years it has been estimated that the race has raised over £1 million for various charities. This year the women are raising money for Best Beginnings, a charity designed to give children a great start in life, and World Vision, the world’s largest international children’s charity. The race is an exclusive opportunity for women to showcase their capabilities in the saddle, and for many, provides a refreshing challenge.