The winning Air Ambulance team: Chief Pilot, Captain Blaine Ashurst, and paramedics Chris Fudge, Alan Cowley and David Wright pictured with their trophies, presented by Bob Champion
Grand National winner Bob Champion, MBE, was the special guest at a charity golf and race day which raised more than £6,000 for Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance.
The former jump jockey, who rode Aldaniti to victory in 1981, was the charity’s celebrity tipster at the flat racing event at
Bob also presented awards to the golf teams including Air Ambulance crew members who were the overall winners of the competition on the 18-hole championship course.
He said: “Being in racing, I know how much the Air Ambulance has helped an awful lot of jockeys.
“That’s just on the jockey side but there are a lot of people who ride horses and motorbikes, and car drivers, and the helicopter always picks them up.
“The pilot, doctor and paramedic do a fantastic job in all weathers and often in difficult locations.”
Air Ambulance golf team Chief Pilot, Captain Blaine Ashurst, and paramedics Chris Fudge, Alan Cowley and David Wright kindly donated their prize to a fundraising silent auction.
Other auction prizes included tickets to the British Superbikes at Brands Hatch, A BMW driving experience, a VIP race day at Lingfield and a signed artist’s copy print of Frankel – the highest-rated horse in history after winning all 14 of his career races.
Before the racing got underway, flags flew at half mast and there was a one-minute’s silence for Frankel’s trainer Sir Henry Cecil who died that day aged 70 after a battle with cancer.
The golf and race day was sponsored by Gallagher Group, 4 Delivery, Holiday Extras, Baker Tilly, Precision Golf, Unibind Digital, Day Aggregates and Sussex Transport, and supported by Vines BMW Gatwick.
Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance Trust chairman Anthony Monteuuis told them: “2013 is a very exciting year for the Air Ambulance as we are about to start our foray into night flying.
“Our new helicopter equipped for night flying arrives in about two weeks and this will add another £1million to our annual outlay so we now need to raise £6million a year.
“We are a charity and the money we get is raised by the people and businesses of Kent, Surrey & Sussex, and we are profoundly grateful for that.”
Each call-out of the helicopter costs about £2,500 so the £6,209 raised from the golf and race day will fund at least two potentially life-saving missions.