Photograph: (L-R) Sheikh Fahad Al Thani, winning Jockey of the 2016 Newmarket Town Plate, Her Royal Highness The Duchess Of Cornwall, Julian Richmond-Watson, Chairman of Newmarket Racecourses and Justin Wadham © Newmarket Racecourses/John Hoy
22nd March 2017 – Newmarket Racecourses were delighted to welcome Her Royal Highness The Duchess Of Cornwall to the Rowley Mile Racecourse today, as part of an official visit to Newmarket, to formally unveil a specially commissioned statue of King Charles II.
The town of Newmarket celebrated a landmark anniversary of 350 years of the Home of Horseracing throughout 2016 and is lucky enough to boast a rich history and heritage, much of which includes key influences from the Royal Family over the years, especially during the reign of King Charles II.
Known as a keen horseman, King Charles II was pivotal to the establishment and evolution of Newmarket as the Home of Horseracing, and this specially commissioned statue was created to mark and honour his contribution to the Sport of Kings.
200 guests, from the local community and racing fraternity, witnessed Her Royal Highness unveiling the King Charles II statue, with the ceremony also including two Mounted Dutymen from the Household Cavalry, as well as a fanfare from two trumpeters of the Regiment. Their presence was again to honour King Charles II, who actually founded the Household Cavalry in 1660.
Following the unveiling, Her Royal Highness received Sheikh Fahad Al Thani, the 2016 Newmarket Town Plate winning jockey. Sheikh Fahad through QIPCO, and its subsidiary Qatar Racing, is a major owner, breeder and investor in British Racing.
Amy Starkey, Regional Director, Jockey Club Racecourses East Region, said;
“We are very honoured to have welcomed Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cornwall to Newmarket Racecourses for the unveiling of the King Charles II statue in his new, and rather apt, permanent home.
“It really was special to have Sheikh Fahad in attendance too. Not only as he is an extremely valued partner for Newmarket Racecourses and British Racing but for him to be received by the Duchess as the winning jockey of the 2016 Newmarket Town Plate.
“Newmarket is so lucky to have such a rich history and heritage associated with the town and it is fantastic to be able to share and celebrate this with Her Royal Highness on this special occasion.”
11 year-old Soham resident, Lucy Johnson, presented a posy to the Duchess following the unveiling. East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices (EACH), the official charity partner for Newmarket’s Moët and Chandon July Festival, nominated Lucy, a regular visitor to EACH’s Milton based hospice, to represent the local charity at this special event.
As part of an official visit to Newmarket, the Duchess also visited one of the local schools, Newmarket Academy, where students and officials showed Her Royal Highness a number of different departments and facilities on site. Following her visit to the Racecourse, the Duchess then attended a private lunch engagement at the historic Jockey Club Rooms on Newmarket High Street.