Monday, May 04, 2015

A popular win at 2015 'Live Life - Give Life' Punchestown Charity Race

Paul Dempsey and Mallory Heights enjoyed the Festival.
Even the rain stopped at half past six last Saturday evening for the 26th running of the Punchestown Charity Race, which was run in aid of The Punchestown Kidney Research Fund. Twenty-five amateur jockeys enjoyed the thrill of a lifetime by becoming a jockey for a day and had the experience of participating at Ireland’s premier national hunt racing meeting at The Punchestown Festival.

The race proved to be a fitting finale to the Festival when local trainer Alan Fleming from The Curragh saw his jockey Paul O’Leary time his run to perfection with Bishopslough to get the better of Rory Slevin aboard Mr Boss Man in a really exciting finish. Winning Jockey Paul said 'it was the experience of a lifetime' to ride a winner at the Punchestown Festival and he was grateful to winning owner Barry Connell for permitting him to ride Bishopslough in The Charity Race. Even the crowds stayed on to cheer and support these brave jockeys who had all raised €1,000 each for The Punchestown Kidney Research Fund to participate in the race.

Kilcullen Butcher James Nolan is the organiser of the Charity race for the past 26 years was thrilled with the day and amazed at the support all the jockeys received in so many ways over the past 12 weeks in the build up to the race and also on the big day from owners, trainers, sponsors and all the supporters. James is also very grateful to Punchestown Racecourse for the way they look after the Punchestown Charity Race year after year — in fact Punchestown had invited over 150 heart, lung, liver, kidney, bone marrow and dialysis patients to the race on the Saturday. He is really excited about the projects that the PKRF have committed to support in 2015 especially helping Temple Street Children’s Hospital.

Denise Fitzgerald from Temple Street Children’s Hospital was there last Saturday to support all the jockeys and was completely amazed by the whole day out. She said whilst all the jockeys were having the thrill of a lifetime she was also grateful that Temple Street Children’s Hospital would benefit with a donation of €150,000 from the work of the Punchestown Kidney Research Fund and this would go towards the building of a new Renal Unit at the hospital.

Another jockey having a special day was Eoghan O’Neill from Newmarket on Fergus, as he is also a Kidney Transplant recipient and he was delighted to be taking part on Saturday. Eoghan is the living proof that carrying an Organ Donor Card works and can save lives. "Only someone signed the Organ Donor Card I would not be alive today," he says. "I am very grateful to all the Organ Donor families and I would ask people to consider carrying the card as it has saved my life and it can save many other people’s lives too.”

So another wonderful success for The Punchestown Kidney Research Fund. In 2015, over €275,000 is committed to various kidney related projects.

• €150,000 committed to support a new renal unit at Temple Street Children’s Hospital in Dublin.

• €100,000 committed to support two kidney related research projects under the guidance of the Irish Nephrology Society.

• €20,000 committed to continue the Art Therapy programmes for Dialysis Patients in Tallaght and Waterford Dialysis Units.

• €5,000 committed to Patient to Patient Support programme and €3,000 to the Sports Programme for Dialysis & Transplant Patients.

(Story from PKRF.)