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Leg 6 Recap: Embracing Familiarity and Friendship at Plumpton Racecourse

As the sun rose over the picturesque countryside of East Sussex, I found myself arriving at Plumpton Racecourse for Leg 6 of the Around The Courses in 80 Days challenge. The 180-mile journey from Wolverhampton was a familiar one, but each visit to Plumpton brings with it a unique sense of warmth and camaraderie.

Nestled amidst rolling hills and verdant landscapes, Plumpton Racecourse exudes a timeless charm that never fails to captivate. The friendly management team and staff greeted me with their trademark hospitality, setting the stage for a day filled with memorable experiences.

One of the highlights of the day was the opportunity to enjoy the races amidst the stunning backdrop of Plumpton's countryside. With excellent viewing points and a palpable atmosphere of excitement, watching the horses thunder down the track was an exhilarating experience.

During my time at Plumpton, I had the pleasure of chatting with TV presenter Mike Cattermole, one of the Brand Ambassadors for the challenge. Mike was delighted to hear about the progress of the journey and graciously offered to walk around one of the southern courses as our adventure unfolds.

Another highlight was walking the course with Jenny Ringwood, a dedicated supporter of the challenge on social media. Jenny's enthusiasm and unwavering support were truly inspiring, and I extend my heartfelt thanks to her for joining me and for her invaluable contribution to the cause.

The day was made even more special by the presence of dear friends and racing enthusiasts. Nick Woodage and his partner Natalie, along with lifetime friend Chris Broad and his wife Sharon, added to the joyous atmosphere with their presence. It was a delightful surprise to reunite with old friends and share in the excitement of the races together. Chris isn't really in the mafia. It is because of these lovely people that Julie and I are going to be in the Royal Enclosure at Royal Ascot this year.

A particularly heartwarming moment was reconnecting with Brenda Dilieto, a friend of mine from my Carshalton days, who came along to support me today with her son Enzo, his wife and two children. It was a joy to see Bren after many many years and she is still as lovely and bubbly as she was when she lived just three houses down from me at number 14 Hackbridge Park Gardens. I used to babysit Eno when he was a wee lad and he made me feel so old when telling me he was retiring soon after 30 years in the fire service.

Despite another charity event taking place at Plumpton today, I'm grateful to have still raised £64 through conversations with fellow racegoers. This brings our total raised to over £2,000 after just six legs—a remarkable achievement made possible by the generosity of the racing community and my friends who have donated online.

As we look ahead, the challenge now is to reach the £3,000 mark as swiftly as possible. Every donation, no matter how large or small, makes a meaningful difference in supporting Dementia UK and their invaluable work.

You can contribute directly to our Just Giving page at:

Together, we can continue to make a difference and bring hope to those affected by dementia.

Thank you for your unwavering support, and until next time, remember:

Together we can make a difference.

Graham Arnold

14th April 2024

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