The 12th Markel Magnolia Cup will come under starters’ orders at Qatar Goodwood Festival this summer (Friday 4 August). Since its inception, the event has raised £2.1 million for good causes, including a record year of fundraising last year, with more than £324,000 donated to The Brilliant Breakfast.

This year, the race will support Education Above All’s (EEA) Educate A Child programme. All net proceeds will go to a project in Malawi that provides education and support for children most at-risk of dropping out of primary education through a joint project between Education Above All and CAMFED.

“We are honoured that Goodwood has chosen us as the beneficiary of the Markel Magnolia Cup,” said Al Jazi Hasan, International Engagement Manager at EAA. “Collaborating at such an exciting event in the British horse-racing calendar allows all involved to continue the important work of providing quality education for all children, which EAA continues to do through its projects around the world. In the UK, we work closely with Educate A Child International.”

Bespoke silks

In the tradition of the race, Goodwood selects a well-known female-led fashion brand to create a collection of bespoke silks for the jockeys to wear, and in the past has welcomed Morvarid Sahafi, Hermes, Kate Moss, Liberty, Mulberry, and Vivienne Westwood to the Magnolia Cup team.

This year’s designs have been curated by designer Alice Temperley.

“I am thrilled to play a part in the Markel Magnolia Cup, supporting such a wonderful initiative – Education Above All. One of my great loves is horses, so it seems fitting to design bespoke Temperley silks to empower the female jockeys,” she said.

A decade ago, the race was launched in a bid to overcome the boundaries within the sport, to create an inclusive community in support of women, their abilities, and wellbeing.

The riders set to contest the five-and-a-half-furlong race down Goodwood Racecourse’s straight include, Caroline Miller, a 72-year-old racing enthusiast and supporter of rehoming of racehorses; Dr. Laura Toogood, digital expert, businesswoman, media commentator and author; Eliza McCalmont, work rider for George Scott; and jewellery designer, Emma Russell.

Also joining the line-up will be Lyn Comerford, Director of Strategy and Operation at Markel; Maryam Al Jaber, State Lawyer in Qatar and the first Qatari female trainer of Camels; Milica Dusanovic, Civil Servant and Naval Reserve Officer; Olivia Bowen, television personality; Olivia Kennedy, owner of cleaning business and member of Cool Ridings; Roya Nikkhah, Royal Editor for The Sunday Times, journalist and broadcaster; and Saffron Oliver, of Tayto Crisps.

“We are proud to support the Magnolia Cup once again this year,” said Simon Wilson, president of Markel International. “This unique event plays an important role in raising awareness of critical issues to us such as diversity, equality, inclusion, and female empowerment.

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Lead image credit: Victoria Adamson

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