Races will be run over a variety of distances with horses aged three years and over eligible to take part. The exact race conditions are still to be agreed with the British Horseracing Authority (“BHA”) as part of the 2017 race programme.
Jockeys will be awarded points for winning and being placed in each of the nine races. The points system will be as follows:
1st Place: 20 points
2nd Place: 16 points
3rd Place: 12 points
4th Place: 8 points
5th Place: 4 points
6th Place: 2 points
If there is a dead heat for first place the two horses will each receive 18 points (based on splitting the points available for first and second) and the third horse to cross the line will receive 12 points.
The Tufnell Trophy will be awarded to the jockey who wins the most points across the nine races. The presentation will take place on the afternoon of 14 September at Doncaster Racecourse.
ARC Group Director of Partnerships, David Leyden Dunbar said:
“At ARC we pride ourselves on being creative and we are always seeking new ways to innovate and promote our sport. We believe the creation of The Silk Series will provide an excellent platform for the UK’s very best female jockeys to showcase their talents, while raising funds and awareness for Cancer Research UK. I’m delighted that our partnership is beginning with a commitment to ensure a donation from every ticket sold to our Ladies Days goes directly to the charity.”
Executive Director of Philanthropy and Partnerships at Cancer Research UK, Frances Milner said:
“We are delighted that ARC has chosen to support Cancer Research UK through The Silk Series. It is a brilliant opportunity to raise awareness of our work and the money raised will help fund vital research into beating cancer.”
The partnership with Cancer Research UK is particularly poignant given Meriel Tufnell MBE died of cancer aged 53 in October 2002. Wynne Tufnell, Meriel’s brother said:
“Meriel would be delighted to know that her name and memory is to be linked with The Silk Series. She was a pioneer in everything she did and she would welcome the new opportunities this initiative provides for female jockeys. As her family we look forward to presenting the winning female jockey with The Tufnell Trophy next September.”
Professional Jockeys Association, Executive Director (Racing) Dale Gibson said:
“The PJA welcomes this new series of races for female jockeys and in particular we hope it will provide additional opportunities for young female apprentices to showcase their riding abilities.”
Amateur Jockeys Association of Great Britain (“AJA”) Chief Executive, Sarah Oliver said:
“The AJA are most grateful to ARC for their initiative in launching this new Pro-Am Series which we know will be well supported by our members. This is hugely exciting news for lady jockeys to be given more opportunities to showcase their skills. In addition, on behalf of the AJA I would like to thank ARC for their generosity in supporting such an important charity.”
Amateur jockey Hayley Moore said:
“This will be a great boost to the opportunities available to female amateur jockeys next year. It is always positive to have a chance to race against professional jockeys for good prize money on racedays with big crowds and The Silk Series promises to deliver all of these things. I very much hope to have the chance to ride in several of the races and even have a go at competing for The Tufnell Trophy.”