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Fund that has paid out pounds 8m to more than 1,000.

THE Injured Jockeys' Fund yesterday celebrated its 40th birthday at Aintree, where the Princess Royal was the guest of honour.

Jockeys past and present joined the princess - who succeeded the Queen Mother as the IJF's patron - along with trustees, almoners, staff

and key supporters at the home of

the Grand National, four decades

after the charity was founded

following two tragic falls at the track.

The fund was instituted in 1964

after leading riders Paddy Farrell and Tim Brookshaw were left paralysed by falls at Aintree, the former at the Chair in that year's National, the latter at the course's previous December meeting.

Originally named the Farrell-Brookshaw fund, then the Injured National Hunt Jockeys' Fund, it became the

Injured Jockeys' Fund in 1971. In the 40 years since its inception, the IJF has received more than pounds 8 million in

donations and has helped over 1,000 jockeys, and their spouses and

dependants. Although such aid is dispensed in many ways, including the well-known annual holidays to Tenerife and provision of wheelchairs and the like, it is primarily financial in the form of weekly and monthly grants.

Lord Oaksey, one of the IJF's original trustees, became president two years ago. "If the shade of the late Paddy Farrell will forgive me, his headlong fall in the Grand National of 1964 could now, in one special, slightly ironic sense, be seen as a blessing in disguise," he said. "For injured jockeys, nothing was ever going to be quite the same.

"The name of the fund changed several times - but not its purpose," he added. "We have paid out the whole of the pounds 8m to beneficiaries, some 800 of which are still alive. I am certain that the IJF will go from strength to strength."

Yesterday the Princess Royal was pictured alongside a host of jockeys who have ridden in the Grand National, among them 86-year-old Jack Dowdeswell, champion jockey in 1946-47, Foinavon's rider Johnny Buckingham and Dick Francis, the rider of the

Queen Mother's Devon Loch,

infamous for inexplicably

throwing away the race yards from the winning post in 1956.
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Copyright 2004 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Date:Apr 4, 2004
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