Dr. Laura Toogood: From RHSB Alumna to Magnolia Cup Jockey


Laura T 2
Wow - I can confirm that this is a seriously difficult challenge! These horses are ultra fast and super strong athletes, with the riding style completely unlike other equestrian sports. It is a colossal test. At times, it still feels as though I have a mountain to climb just to get to the start line at Goodwood Racecourse.”

Alumnae Dr Laura Toogood (RHSB 2003) will be riding in the Markel Magnolia Cup at Glorious Goodwood this August with a group of fabulous women. They will be raising funds for the Education Above All Foundation, which is a global foundation established in 2012 by Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser. Education Above All aims to transform lives through education and does some truly incredible work.

Like most of the other ladies riding in the race, Laura had never sat on a professional racehorse until she started training for this event.

Many of the women riding in the race are using their spare time to fit in the training around professional and family commitments and to learn a new trade from scratch, while raising funds for a great charity. Many come from different career backgrounds and on a day-to-day basis, they work across a diverse range of fields including tech, law, insurance, journalism, business, influencing and design.

Riding out at the crack of dawn has been the name of the game, as well as rigorous evening fitness sessions and jockey coaching. Laura says, ‘’It wouldn’t be possible without the support of many people, especially my family, friends and colleagues. I am so grateful to Neil Mulholland Racing (where I ride out) and all of his fantastic team. Thank you to the brilliant Matt, who is the founder of Psych Strength and helped get me fit enough to master a 4 minute plank (as well as the rest of the horrendously difficult components of the fitness test!). Thank you to Kim Tinkler for overseeing the fitness test at the National Horseracing College. Also a shoutout to Nicky in Wadswick Country Store who helped fit my safety equipment at the start of my journey. A huge thank you to the TV presenter Rachel Stringer (and our special mutual friends) for making this all happen at the very beginning. The Goodwood Team are so supportive and encouraging while organising and hosting the Markel Magnolia Cup, which is billed as the most prestigious all women charity race run in the UK. It is a real privilege to be part of the preparation and the big day that lies ahead.’’

When not out on the gallops, Laura is an award-winning digital and social media expert, author and media commentator and was shortlisted for the GDST Alumna of the Year Award in 2016.

Go girls - we wish Laura and her fellow jockeys the best of luck and look forward to hearing how they get on. To sponsor Laura’s effort, please visit her JustGiving page: https://www.justgiving.com/page/laura-toogood-magnolia-cup