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Ponte Delivers and Milestone Reached in Leg 19

Today marked my first visit to Pontefract for leg 19 of my Around the Courses in 80 Days challenge, and I must say, I was thoroughly impressed. The course was sprawling, with a huge expanse to walk around, featuring a steep uphill finish for at least half a mile. Despite the challenging terrain I managed to walk the course prior to racing. The staff were incredibly friendly and supportive, adding to the positive atmosphere of the day.

One thing that caught my attention was the peculiar distances, such as 5 furlongs 2 yards and 1m 2f 5yds. It struck me as odd—why not just move the stalls 2 or 5 yards? I hope someone can explain as I never got the chance to speak to the Clerk of the Course as intended asking him to satisfy my curiousity.

The weather was kind again, with temperatures reaching a delightful 20 degrees, adding to the enjoyment of the day.

I had a feeling we could achieve something special today, and I was proven right. The generous people of South Yorkshire came through, donating a remarkable £272.84. This means that after just 19 legs of the challenge, we've surpassed the £5,000 mark in funds raised for Dementia UK.

I am truly humbled and proud of this achievement.

For those interested in learning more about the challenge or contributing to the cause, you can find full details at And would you believe it? We've already hit £5,029!

I couldn't help but appreciate the little things at Pontefract, where part of the prize for the winning horse is a bag of carrots. It's little touches like these that make the racing experience so special.

I was fortunate to secure an on-course interview with Andrew Thornton, despite it being the fourth time he's heard the same spiel from me.

Thank you to Stuart Lewis and Graham Lonsdale from Purple Reins Racing for their unwavering support once again.

With the momentum building, I'm proud to say that the £20,000 target is looking more achievable than ever. Together, we can continue to make a real difference in the fight against dementia.

Thank you to everyone who has supported me on this journey.

Here's to many more successful legs ahead!

Graham Arnold

1st May 2024

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