This Saturday I returned to York Races for the annual Stowe Family Law LLP Grand Cup. It seems astonishing that we first began supporting the course’s spring meeting in 2006, before our sponsored race was established in 2008. And nothing makes me prouder than welcoming guests from far and wide to enjoy some old-fashioned Yorkshire hospitality.
One of those guests was Sherrie Hewson, who readers may know from the ITV programmes Coronation Street, Benidorm and Loose Women. She was joined by Karl Newton, who is executive producer of This Morning and Daybreak. Sherrie had phenomenal success in her bets, backing every one of the seven winners throughout the afternoon. In fact, she was so successful that many of our other guests were eagerly awaiting her tips by the end of the day!
Around 28,000 people attended on Saturday, and the main event as far as we were concerned was the Stowe Family Law LLP Grand Cup. I was delighted when I found out that one of my favourite jockeys, Frankie Dettori, was taking part – and even more pleased when he came out on top! He rode Cavalryman to its first win in three years, and celebrated with his trademark “flying” dismount in the parade paddock before I presented him with his prize. Cavalryman was also judged “the best turned out horse” by our oldest guest, Grahame Bailey, a spritely 92 years old! Cavalryman will be off to Royal Ascot shortly, following in the hoofprints of a previous winner of our race, Caracciola, owned by Piers Pottinger. Caracciola went on to the win the Queen Alexandra Stakes at Royal Ascot; hopefully Cavalryman will follow suit in his race! Maybe Sherrie will let us know if she’s backing him?
Appearances though can be deceptive. Anyone living with a loved one who is seriously ill with no prospect of recovery will know exactly what I mean. There is a shadow cast over your life, no matter what no matter where. However, life goes on and the show must go on. For a lawyer, trained to show little emotion doing the day job, that training has been invaluable. From a more personal perspective, I couldn’t help but recall that last year my parents were able to join us at York Races, because my mum was able to walk and made a great effort to be present. A year later it is simply not possible. As I looked around at our expanded team and all our guests, I felt so proud to be part of this great firm and wished they could be there to share in it especially my dad who has always loved going racing. If it wasn’t for my parents, and their support and encouragement of me, things would have been very different. I would never have been a lawyer at all. My mum is being supported every step of her sloping pathway by my dad, and they are both taking each precious day slowly, taking each day as it comes. I cannot sufficiently describe their bravery, fortitude, courage and strength and thank them from the bottom of my heart for everything they have always done for me and our family.