Head injury victim Harriet Bethell cheered on by jockeys and trainers as she completes charity walk at Pontefract Racecourse

There was a truly remarkable start to Pontefract's final race meeting of the year yesterday when the inspirational Harriet Bethell completed a fundraising course walk in aid of the Injured Jockeys Fund.

Tuesday, 19th October 2021, 5:16 pm
Updated Tuesday, 19th October 2021, 5:18 pm
Harriet Bethell completes a charity walk round Pontefract Racecourse in aid of the Injured Jockeys Fund. Picture: Alan Wright

Following a fall on the gallops at home two years ago, Harriet was left fighting for her life in a coma with a severe brain injury.

Given a poor prognosis, Harriet moved from hospital to hospital and underwent multiple operations, but against the odds, she continued to make great progress and completed an inspirational walk of the track before racing got under way.

Accompanied by her family and friends, the 35-year-old completed a walk that took about an hour-and-a-half round the course, which is two miles in distance with an uphill finish.

And a huge contingent of jockeys and trainers gathered at the winning post to cheer her on as she crossed the line.

Harriet's walk has so far raised £30,000 for the Injured Jockeys Fund and having past her initial target of £25,000 she is now aiming to take the figure up to £50,000.

Harriet chose to walk the track at Pontefract because her stable had a winner there on the day of her accident.

"It's great to give something back to such a wonderful charity who have been there for me since day one," she told Sky Sports Racing.

"I've had to learn how to walk again, which took all of six months at a specialist rehab hospital.

"I had to learn how to stand up again, brush my teeth, use a knife and fork and write - those were just a few things."