– JUNE/JULY 2009


On 23 June 2009 I put on the TV to settle down to watch the At The Races coverage from Newton Abbot, then went to get something to eat, only to return and discover that Richard Pitman had been interviewing Andrew Thornton, Timmy Murphy and Choc regarding a recently organised charity fund raising endeavour which I gather related to Choc's forthcoming marriage (08 August 2009) and was somehow connected with 'hair'!  But I was in the dark as to the exact details, having missed all but the end of the interview.

So, to find out more and as directed, I emailed the Professional Jockeys Association and Director Ann Saunders MBE kindly sent me further details of the jockeys’ fundraising effort, together with a donation form:


Jockeys are using the forthcoming nuptials of Robert “Choc” Thornton to raise money for the Gloucestershire Air Ambulance and Alder Hey Children’s Hospital by growing moustaches in time for Choc’s Stag do.

Here is a link to an article in Choc’s local press from Thursday 25 June 2009 relating to the ‘Jockey’s Grow Moustaches’ charity fundraising:

The Racing Post reported that Choc and his Stag-Do friends and colleagues met up at the Black Bear Inn (allegedly the home of a poltergeist called Fred) in Moreton-in-Marsh at 08:00 on Thursday 09 July 2009 before starting out on their trip to Hamburg.  Choc was suitably attired in Lederhosen in preparation for what was, apparently, his first trip to Germany!  And I found this archive link:

The day after everyone arrived back in the UK (12 July), a number of the jockeys rode at Stratford (including Choc) and took part in a pre-racing goatee shearing event held in the Winners’ Enclosure.  I understand a similar event took place at Southwell, which held a fixture on the Sunday too.  An estimated £4,500 was raised during the fundraising period.

Here is an article about the Stratford event from the 13 July 2009 issue of The Birmingham Mail:

And, if you’d like to see Choc looking especially gorgeous, here are my photos of the Stratford event!

Stratford Charity Moustache Shearing Part 1

Stratford Charity Moustache Shearing Part 2


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