It’s the mane event as WellChild appoints its first horse ambassador for The Cheltenham Festival

As excitement mounts for this year’s Cheltenham Festival, WellChild has appointed its first Equine Ambassador, popular racehorse Smad Place, to represent the charity in its work with The Festival™ and The Jockey Club.

By Charlotte Edwards · March 10, 2022

Smad Place was winner of the Cotswold Chase at Cheltenham in his racing days. A popular grey who was loved for his bold jumping displays quickly became a household favourite amongst racing fans, and now even has his own social media accounts; Smad Place is on Facebook, Instagram (@smadplace) and Twitter (@smadplace1). He will be lending a hoof to help out WellChild, the Cheltenham-based national charity for seriously ill children which is official charity partner of The Festival.

Smad Place will take part in the renaming of the horse walkway and other events to celebrate WellChild’s partnership with The Festival this year. In recognition of the partnership between WellChild and The Jockey Club, the horse walkway will be renamed the WellChild Walkway. The WellChild Walkway will be opened on the first day of The Festival (Tuesday 15th March) at 12:40pm, by Randox Grand National winning jockey Rachael Blackmore, Cheltenham Festival ambassador Barry Geraghty, Colin Dyer, Chief Executive of WellChild – and, of course, Smad Place.

Owners of Smad Place are Trish and Peter Andrews. Trish said: “We are delighted to have Smad become an Ambassador for WellChild as it is such a wonderful charity and one we are great supporters of.”

Sarah Haydon who looks after the now 15-year-old Smad Place in his retirement said the honour couldn’t go to a more worthy horse. She said: “Smad is an amazing “nanny” or child friendly fan and my two children aged five and two really do dote on him.”

"What better way to acknowledge the amazing support the whole racing community is giving to WellChild than to have a much-loved racehorse as an ambassador for the charity? We are hugely grateful to everyone in racing from the owners and jockeys through to the racing fans for the support they are giving to seriously ill children and their families all across the UK.”

WellChild Chief Executive Colin Dyer

The children and young people supported by WellChild will also be able to enjoy the fun of The Festival this year with our family activity pack, including a colouring activity inspired by Smad Place!

Access the activities here >>