Forces festival set to be a Fontwell favourite

Armed forces and charity representatives - with their respective mascots - gather at Fontwell to promote the October 3-4 festival   Picture by Darren Cool / Connors
Armed forces and charity representatives - with their respective mascots - gather at Fontwell to promote the October 3-4 festival Picture by Darren Cool / Connors

FONTWELL PARK is gearing up for one of its big events of the year – its two-day Forces Festival at the end of the week.

More than £100,000 of prize money will be up for grabs across two successive days of racing next Friday and Saturday (Oct 3 and 4).

The first day of the festival is Fuller’s Raceday in support of the Royal British Legion, while the Southern Water Armed Forces Charity Raceday on the Saturday will support the Queen Alexandra Hospital Home to commemorate 100th anniversary of the outbreak of first world war.

Fuller’s Friday marks the opening day and boasts an attractive seven-race card for racegoers.

The Fuller’s London Pride Handicap Steeple Chase over two miles, two furlongs is the feature race of the afternoon with prize money of £18,500.

Fullers’ chosen charity this year is the Royal British Legion, founded by veterans of the 1914-1918 conflict, who adopted the poppy as their symbol of remembrance and hope.

The Worthing-based Queen Alexandra Hospital Home – a national military charity which offers nursing and rehabilitation services to physically disabled ex-servicemen and women – is delighted to be selected as Southern Water’s charity for the second day of the festival.

Alongside a seven-race card in the afternoon, entertainment will be in the form of the Military Wives Choir, the Band of the Corps of the Royal Engineers, Flash Mob Jazz Band, military displays from the British Army, Royal Navy and RAF, a static Spitfire, military vehicles, recruitment stands and military merchandise.

There will be free entertainment for children, including fun-fair rides, bouncy castles, face painters and a mascot race.

Children get into both racedays free of charge.

Tanya Sharp, QAHH corporate relationship officer, said: “We are thrilled to be Southern Water’s chosen charity for this wonderful event, which not only will raise vital funds and awareness for our disabled ex-servicemen and women, but is also the largest commemorative event in the south-east region.

“I do hope as many people as possible will show their support, not only to the charity but to our Armed Forces who have worked hard to ensure a tremendous occasion.”

Simon Williams, Fontwell Park’s executive director, said: “The team here are delighted to be working with Fuller’s and Southern Water for the two-day Fontwell Forces Festival, the first of its kind.

“We would particularly like to welcome their chosen charities, the Royal British Legion and the Queen Alexandra Hospital Home. The Fontwell Forces Festival will mark the centenary of the first world war and the fantastic work both of these charities do.

“With so much entertainment planned over the two days we have decided to open the gates early to allow racegoers to enjoy the magnificent military displays on offer before racing begins.”

For information regarding admission or hospitality options, contact a member of the Fontwell Park team on 01243 543335 or at