21 Sep 23. The Chepstow Military Race Day returns with a bang on November 8th!
The 2022 inaugural Chepstow Military Race Day was a huge success and enabled fundraisers for injured forces veterans to smash through the £200,000 barrier.
Held on November 18th at Chepstow Racecourse, the inaugural event proved enormously popular, with the crowds swelled by the generous free entry offered by Chepstow to all serving and past military personnel.
The growth in guest numbers means that the venue has been moved to the larger View Restaurant located with a superb view of the racecourse Winning Post.
This year there are again seven competitive races, with sponsorship from Viasat Inc. BATTLESPACE Publications, Comtech Inc., Echodyne Inc., MTC, Spectra and TVS.
Table sponsors include, Bertin Exensor, Canny Comms, SPX, Exail, Leidos, MLA Ltd, MIA Ltd, NP Aerospace, Roger Medwell, Allan Webb, Tek Seating, Oxley Developments, Hensoldt, and The Square.
Each sponsor contributed to funds raised on behalf of three chosen military charities through race and table sponsorship.
The three charities in 2023 remain Combat Stress, The Royal Hospital Chelsea, and SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity.
The event is run in association with BATTLESPACE Publications, the driving force behind the first armed forces race day event ten years ago.
Julian Nettlefold, publisher of BATTLESPACE, said: “We are building on the success of the inaugural event in 2022 with greater table sales and considerable interest in the free entry very kindly given by Chepstow racecourse to all past and present military personnel. We very much welcome new race sponsors Comtech, Echodyne and MTC. The day will start with an MoD briefing on the latest international world affairs, particularly Ukraine. Last year we were treated to an excellent in-depth brief on Ukraine by General Sir James Everard, this year’s speaker will be announced in due course.”
“We are delighted to announce that the keynote speaker this year is Major General (Retd.) Simon Humphrey CBE. Simon has very kindly to agree to talk about his experiences commanding British and NATO forces in Afghanistan across 2018 and his personal experiences of the support network that is so critical to officers and soldiers in service and equally importantly as they make that often daunting transition into the ‘outside world’. Military charities have a key part to play in this ongoing requirement. Simon is now Vice President Strategy and Business Development UK, Hanwha Aerospace UK.”
“We are pleased that the government has now recognised the role played by service wives with the change in the pension rules. We very much hope that, unlike my mother, these changes will result in every career being granted a minimum Old Age Pension, whether or not they have paid their Stamp. As the son of a wounded veteran, I have seen how a loving wife can contribute to the well-being of a wounded veteran, making his life bearable.”
“These forgotten people, like my mother, are left in the background when they should have full recognition for their long-suffering service to the veteran and his family.
“We were delighted to once again welcome uniformed Chelsea Pensioners who make the day so special for racegoers and guests alike.”
“The event will once again include the annual BATTLESPACE Businessman of The Year Award, with last year’s winner Eben Frankenberg of Echodyne presenting the award to this year’s winner, Phil Ashworth, Managing Director of Bertin Exensor Ltd. We are also delighted to welcome back Steve O’Leary our champion auctioneer, who was laid low by Covid last year. The advertisement proceeds of our special November issue of BATTLESPACE will be donated to the Charities.”
Chepstow Racecourse General Manager Lindsay Knox said: “We are delighted to be hosting the Military Raceday once again. It is a very popular event which supports some amazing charities. We really hope everyone has a wonderful day and I am looking forward to my first experience of the day. “
Hisham Award, Managing Director, Viasat UK, Platinum Sponsor said, “The SAFAA Chepstow Military Raceday is a great occasion and an opportunity to support an excellent cause, meet serving as well as retired armed forces members and their families – a great way to say thank you.”
General Sir James Everard, KCB, CBE said, “I was delighted to attend The Chepstow Military Race Day and ring the bell to start racing. The day hosted excellent people and companies, great causes, outstanding entertainment and was a perfect day. This is one of those events that deserves all our support now and into the future.”
Eben Frankenberg, CEO Echodyne said. “We are very happy to once again participate in the Chepstow Military Race Day, which supports the UK Armed Forces community and helps change lives, and look forward to another lively and successful event!”
Helen Fergie-McGowan, of SSAFA, said: “The Military Race Day is a ‘must attend’ event in the racing calendar. SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity are delighted to be involved again this year and appreciate the outstanding support from Julian of BATTLESPACE and the team at Chepstow racecourse. We look forward to seeing you on the day.”
Rosie Gibbons, of Combat Stress, said: “We are delighted to be one of the chosen charities again for this marvellous event supporting the Armed Forces. As the UK’s leading charity for veterans’ mental health, we provide life-changing treatment and support for veterans from every service and conflict, focusing on those with complex mental health issues. Our specialist treatment doesn’t just change lives, it saves them too. We look forward to seeing you there.”
Martin Field of the Royal Hospital Chelsea said, “The Chelsea Pensioners really enjoyed their day at Chepstow and the Royal Hospital Chelsea is delighted with the generous donation from the race day. The money raised will help us to continue to care for our veterans, many who have complex needs, at their home the Royal Hospital. Thank you to all those who attended and contributed to a fantastic day, we look forward to attending the 2023 Raceday”
The 2024 Chepstow Military Raceday will take place on Wednesday 6th November.
Notes to Editors
Simon Humphrey CBE BIO
Simon Humphrey CBE Vice President Hanwha Aerospace Business Development and Strategy UK
Simon Humphrey CBE commissioned into the British Army in 1985 and served for 36 years before his retirement (from his first career) in 2021. Much of his field soldiering was spent in leadership roles within the Royal Artillery from Troop to Brigade. On that journey he was privileged to have commanded 1st Regiment Royal Horse Artillery and the Offensive Support Group of 1st (United Kingdom) Armoured Division.
Along the way, a broad range of staff appointments have kept him busy, including an appointment with responsibility for operational commitment planning for the British Army, for which he was subsequently appointed OBE and a 2 year tour as Deputy Principal Staff Officer (DPSO) to UK Chief of Defence Staff across a period that included a change of government, a change of CDS and the Strategic Defence and Security Review. His primary focus as DPSO was acting as the lead officer for CDS’ international engagement. In 2015 he assumed the appointment of Director of the Combat Support Capability Directorate in Army HQ and led the development of Combat Support capability for both the Royal Artillery and Royal Engineers.
He deployed to Afghanistan in early 2018, for a 12 month appointment as: Commander British Forces, where, amongst other things he planned and implemented the uplift of UK forces, and also Commander of the Kabul Security Force, a 7 nation force responsible for NATO advisor force protection and support to Afghan Security forces in delivering security to Kabul, a role for which he was subsequently appointed CBE. He was promoted to Major General in early 2019 and deployed to Tampa Florida, as the Senior British Military Advisor to US Central Command.
Since leaving the British Army, he has worked for 18 months as an Independent Consultant,
advising companies on Security, Risk and Defence related areas, before joining Hanwha
Aerospace as the Vice President responsible for Business Development and Strategy in the UK.
Married to Ali, with 2 sons and a daughter aged 27, 23 and 25 respectively, he enjoys spending time with his family, travelling, walking his dogs, endeavouring to maintain his single figure golf handicap, dabbling with musical instruments and watching sport.