Sir Peter O’Sullevan’s Charitable Trust Award Lunch is still thriving after 18 years

02/12/2014

The charity was delighted to benefit once again from the annual Sir Peter O'Sullevan Trust Award Lunch.

2014 Sir Peter O'Sullevan Award

World Horse Welfare was once again delighted to be one of the beneficiaries of an auction at the annual Sir Peter O’Sullevan Charitable Trust Award Lunch, held at The Dorchester on 27th November. The annual award is presented in recognition of a lifetime’s contribution to horseracing. This year was the first time Sir Peter – a vice president of World Horse Welfare and now a remarkable 96 years of age – has been unable to attend owing to ill health.

The 2014 Award put the spotlight on the Head family, represented by patriarch Alec – a successful jockey and later trainer of an English Derby winner – and siblings and successful trainers Freddie and Criquette. [Image above shows the Head family being presented with the Award.] Theirs is an enduring dynasty that has been at the pinnacle of European racing since the turn of the century. Though Sir Peter was sadly unable to host the event himself, the most memorable moment of the day came as his voice filled the room during a poignant film tribute he narrated to honour the Head family.

World Horse Welfare’s director of fundraising, John Blake, said:

“It was naturally sad for the guests not to be greeted at the door as usual by Sir Peter and to miss the chance to exchange stories at the bar afterwards. But it was so uplifting for all to hear his unmistakable tones on the film and to know that he was very much in touch with proceedings and the serious business of raising funds for his six fortunate charities.”    

The guest speaker at this year’s event was Sir Terry Wogan, who was on sparkling form. The lively auction raised over £200,000 in aid of the six charities supported by The Trust, with the highest bid being placed by Fred Done, of Betfred. The top bid was £48,000, for a stunning painting entitled ‘They’re Off and Running,’ by internationally-acclaimed artist Mao Wen Biao. Mao has completed a number of pieces on a truly spectacular scale, including a panoramic mural measuring an incredible 60’ high by 180’ long commissioned by the Chinese Government.

‘They’re Off and Running’ successfully evokes all the drama and excitement of the start of a race and was chosen to feature on this year’s Charitable Trust Christmas Card, now in its 15th year and becoming ever-more popular. When added to the proceeds of the trademark auction, the combined contribution of funds should ensure that the vital work of each charity supported by the Trust will benefit by at least £35,000.

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