Line-up of riders announced for the 2024 Markel Magnolia Cup raising vital funds for My Sisters’ House

Horse Racing | Press Article 27/05/24

The 12 inspirational women riders that will come under starters’ orders at Qatar Goodwood Festival, on Thursday 1 August are today announced for the 13th running of the Markel Magnolia Cup.

The Markel Magnolia Cup has raised a phenomenal £2.4 million for charitable causes since its inception. This year, the Markel Magnolia Cup will support My Sisters’ House, a West Sussex women’s centre. They support any self-identifying woman to improve their welfare and wellbeing, reducing their risk of domestic abuse and supporting recovery. Operating across two hubs, located in the Arun District and Chichester, a presence in the communities, allows My Sisters’ House to help women reach their goals for future employment, education, or training through the Thrive Employability programme.

Avril Robinson, Acting CEO of My Sisters’ House, said: “We are beyond delighted to be the chosen charity of the Markel Magnolia Cup this year. As a local charity, run by women, for women, we love what the Markel Magnolia Cup stands for, and has achieved, in terms of championing women and womens opportunities. We’re excited to work with Goodwood and Markel on this wonderful event, which will make such a difference to us as a charity, and to the rapidly growing numbers of vulnerable woman we support in the local community.”

The race was conceived to overcome the boundaries within the sport and, more specifically, horseracing, creating an inclusive community in support of women, their abilities, and well-being.

The 12 riders this year champion everything the race sets out to achieve and are a truly inspirational line-up. Most of the women are complete novice riders within horseracing having never ridden a racehorse until their training had begun. The challenge will require total commitment to achieve success, a zealous pursuit of excellence and sheer hard work to win. Months of training are devoted from all the women for their opportunity to raise vital funds for charity and the opportunity to race at one of the most beautiful racecourses in the world.

Simon Wilson, President of Markel International, commented: “Markel has enjoyed a successful partnership with Goodwood for over a decade, and in the past few years we’ve taken this a step further with our sponsorship of The Markel Magnolia Cup. This race represents far more than what happens on the day itself; it's about people coming together to champion and raise money for charitable causes that provide essential support to vulnerable people and communities around the world. I have the greatest admiration for the riders, many of whom dedicate months of their time to training and fundraising so they can take on this challenge. I’m looking forward to learning more about them and about My Sisters’ House and the impact this year’s event will have on the valuable work they’re doing. It’s fantastic to be a part of something that will continue to make a difference long after the race has taken place.”

The riders set to contest the five-and-a-half-furlong race down Goodwood Racecourse’s straight include:


Aamilah Aswat –Riding a Dream Academy Graduate

Amy Moring – Entrepreneur and Founder of Food Brand, Hunter & Gather

Rebecca Haryett – Lead Physiotherapist in the British Army

Ellen Barber – International Heptathlete

Eleanor Franchitti – Global Head of Business Development at Caxton Associates and wife of former racing driver Dario Franchitti

Harriet Hemmings - Rural Chartered Surveyor

Joanna Jensen – Entrepreneur and Founder of Family Skincare brand, Childs Farm

Lady Katherine Lindsay – Property and Projects Manager for David Ross and Survivor of a Congenital Abnormality

Lauren Price – Social Media at ITV Racing & World Horse Racing

Lizzie Jelfs – Leading Australian Racing Presenter

Matilda Butcher – Performance Marketing at Harrods

Sophie Pumfrett – Successful Model


Goodwood Racecourse have also announced today that going forwards a place will be offered in the Markel Magnolia Cup every year to a student of the Riding A Dream Academy. This year Aamilah Aswat will be the first graduated student to line up in the race, five years after Khadijah Mellah made history in 2019 by winning the same race.

Fundraising has now begun for the 2024 Markel Magnolia Cup via Just Giving here.

Tickets, dining and hospitality are on sale for the Qatar Goodwood Festival, which takes place from 30 July to 3 August. Visit or call 01243 755055 to find out more. Best priced tickets with a 15% discount are available until 31 May.


Editor’s Notes:

Social Media:
Official hashtags: #MarkelMagnoliaCup #QGF #GoodwoodRaces

To follow the riders as they train for the Markel Magnolia Cup, please visit Goodwood Racecourse’s social media channels.




About the Markel Magnolia Cup

On Thursday, 1 August, twelve dedicated amateur jockeys will ride in the Markel Magnolia Cup following months of intensive training.

In 2019, the race captured the eyes of the world when Khadijah Mellah galloped to glory up Goodwood’s home straight. Mellah won in spectacular style just months after sitting on a racehorse for the first time. She began her riding journey aged 12 at the Ebony Horse Club, a club that aims to transform young lives through horses in south London’s most disadvantaged communities.

Previous jockeys have included doctors, Olympians, CEOs, journalists, students, models, and presenters, among them Edie Campbell, Sara Cox and Vogue Williams.

Fundraising takes place through race and horse sponsorship, as well as at the Regency Ball, a stunning themed evening held at Goodwood House after the Markel Magnolia Cup.

About Markel International

Markel International is a division of Markel Corporation, a US-based holding company trading on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: MKL). Markel International writes insurance and reinsurance business through six divisions and offices across the UK, Europe, Canada, and Asia Pacific. Markel International’s insuring entities include Syndicate 3000, Markel International Insurance Company Limited, and Markel Insurance SE.

Its UK national markets business also provides legal and professional fees insurance cover as well as legal and tax consultancy services. For more information, please visit:

About My Sisters’ House

Helping women thrive, not just survive
My Sisters’ House is a women’s centre operating across the Arun and Chichester Districts working with women to improve their welfare and wellbeing, reduce their risk of domestic abuse and support recovery, and help them reach their goals for employment, education or training.

Founded in 2014, the charity supports any self-identifying women with multiple disadvantages, offering wrap-around support, specialising in domestic abuse, wellbeing and welfare. In 2015 My Sisters’ House supported 28 clients, but by 2023 this increased dramatically to 1756 new clients (on top of existing ones), showing the escalation of need within the West Sussex community.

With a mission to help women “thrive, not just survive”, My Sisters’ House provides trauma-informed, holistic support in responsive, women’s-only spaces. With 2 hubs in the heart of the local communities of Chichester and Bognor Regis, the highly-trained team acts as ‘the net-beneath-the-net’, being the consistent, non-judgemental advocate for women with multiple and complex needs. For more information, please visit:

About the Qatar Goodwood Festival:

The Qatar Goodwood Festival is one of the undisputed highlights of the British flat racing season.
Affectionately known as ‘Glorious Goodwood’, the world-famous five-day festival is a sporting and social occasion like no other, unrivalled style, superb racing, and hospitality experiences to savour mean it’s not to be missed.

The 2024 event takes place from Tuesday 30 July to Saturday 3 August. The week is headed by three Group 1 races, including the Qatar Goodwood Cup, the Qatar Sussex Stakes, and the Qatar Nassau Stakes.

Tickets, dining, and hospitality are now on sale for the Qatar Goodwood Festival. Visit or call 01243 755055 to find out more.

For editorial enquiries please contact:

Emma Chamings,, 07887792980