BetBright has announced, starting in 2017, the winning BetBright Cup Captain will receive a £10,000 donation to the Injured Jockey Fund in their respective country. The BetBright Cup (formally the Prestbury Cup) is awarded to the country with the greatest number of Cheltenham Festival winners but the freshly added twist brings in a fantastic new charitable aspect to the competition!
The BetBright Cup, which had been known as the Prestbury Cup prior to 2015, is centered around the inter-country competition between Great Britain and Ireland at the heralded Cheltenham Festival. The Cup features both countries competing to earn the greatest number of festival winners from their respective country, adding a more patriotic angle to the event for spectators.
Each country picks a team captain, typically a celebrity closely tied to the festival or horse racing in general, who then represents the country for the four days of competition. Prior to this big announcement regrading the addition of the charity fund, the BetBright Cup was all about country pride as the prize was simply bragging rights.
Now, thanks to the the generosity of BetBright, each team captain has something more to fight for in the form of a charitable donation of £10,000 to the Injured Jockey Fund of their respective country. Charitable giving joins the patriotic angle to make the BetBright Cup one of the most intriguing aspects of this year's Cheltenham Festival!
The new addition of the £10,000 donation to this year's BetBright Cup prize not only increases the competition level but provides a great opportunity to shed light on a great charity foundation the operator truly believes in. Discussing why BetBright partnered with the Injured Jockey Fund, BetBright Chairman Rich Ricci explained just how incredible they feel the foundation is:
"The prize money is a new feature added this year, the Injured Jockeys Fund is such an incredible charity that caters to the enhanced care, rehabilitation and welfare of jockeys past and present. We could not be more proud of supporting such an organisation and look forward to seeing the amazing work they do now and into the future."
The Injured Jockey Fund (IJF) was founded in 1964 following horrific accidents involving two prominent racers - Tim Brookshaw and Paddy Farrell - at the '64 Grand National. Since then, the IJF has donated over £18m to helping 1000+ jockeys who have suffered injuries and will only increase that output with the newly announced annual donation.
For this year's BetBright Cup, the two team captain's - Phil Tufnell (Great Britain) and Hector O’Heochagain (Ireland) - are both expecting a win for their home country, especially after last year's stalemate. The 2016 Cup saw Great Britain put together an epic comeback near the end of the Festival to secure the tie at the dismay of Hector, who captained Ireland last year as well.
The Cup's first year, 2015, saw Great Britain squeak-out a narrow win, so each year the competition has been extremely close despite Ireland never taking home the prize. Ireland's hopes this year, though, are a bit slashed following a recent string of injuries to quality Irish horses. Tufnell explained Ireland wasn't alone in terms of the injury bug:
"Both sides have lost a number of defending champions in recent weeks, and I’ve no doubt Hector is preparing the excuses as we speak, but I am banking on a few of our own super subs as well as the superstar Altior to keep the title at home."
But despite Great Britain's injuries, most believe the concern is with the Irish side. Staying optimistic regardless of most people's confidence in a Great Britain win in 2017, Ricci revealed his high expectation for this year's competition:
"The Cheltenham Festival is an incredibly exciting time for all British and Irish racing fans. The competition between the two nations has rarely been tighter then it was last year, this year there’s no doubt the Irish side will be up against it but I don’t think Hector will lose faith. The BetBright Cup is a fun complement to the serious sport on the track, allowing racing fans to get behind their country’s contenders throughout the week."
Fortunately, no matter which country's team pulls off the victory in the BetBright Cup 2017, everyone wins when it comes to charity. The £10,000 donation to the Injured Jockey Fund on behalf of the winning captain will go a long way in enhancing the care, rehabilitation and welfare of both past and current jockeys in that respective country.
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