Markel Magnolia Cup Riders Announced

Horse Racing | Press Article 17/04/24

Inspirational line-up of riders announced for the 2023 Markel Magnolia Cup with Alice Temperley to design the silks, in support of Education Above All

Link to high-res images: (credit Victoria Adamson)

The much-anticipated twelfth Markel Magnolia Cup will come under starters’ orders at Qatar Goodwood Festival, on Friday 4 August.

Since its inception, the philanthropic event has raised a phenomenal £2.1 million. A record year of fundraising was achieved in 2022 accounting for over £324,000 which was donated to The Brilliant Breakfast.

This year, the Markel Magnolia Cup will support Education Above All’s (EEA) Educate A Child programme. All net proceeds will go to a project in Malawi that provides education and support for children most at-risk of dropping out of primary education through a joint project between Education Above All and CAMFED. The project aims to empower thousands of girls enabling them to overcome barriers to accessing and remaining in school. At the centre of the project is mentorship and local leadership allowing individuals to benefit from quality primary education inclusive of sexual health education, life skills, and well-being sessions, intensive out-of-school support for those facing the most pressure to drop out, and psychosocial support.

Al Jazi Hasan, International Engagement Manager at EAA commented; “We are honoured that Goodwood has chosen us as the beneficiary of the Markel Magnolia Cup. Collaborating at such an exciting event in the British horse-racing calender allows all involved to continue the important work of providing quality education for all children, which EAA continues to do through its projects around the world. In the UK, we work closely with Educate A Child International.”

In the tradition of the race and its values, Goodwood selects a well-known female-led fashion brand to create a collection of bespoke silks for the jockeys to wear, and in the past has welcomed Morvarid Sahafi, Hermes, Kate Moss, Liberty, Mulberry, and Vivienne Westwood to the Magnolia Cup team. This year’s beautiful designs have been curated by iconic fashion designer Alice Temperley.

Alice Temperley, founder and designer of fashion label Temperley London commented; “I am thrilled to play a part in the Markel Magnolia Cup, supporting such a wonderful initiative – Education Above All. One of my great loves is horses, so it seems fitting to design bespoke Temperley silks to empower the female jockeys.”

A decade ago, 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.

This year’s line-up features a truly inspiring team of riders. The challenge will require total commitment to achieve success, a zealous pursuit of excellence and sheer hard work to win.

Simon Wilson, president of Markel International, commented: “We are proud to support the Magnolia Cup once again this year. This unique event plays an important role in raising awareness of critical issues to us such as diversity, equality, inclusion, and female empowerment. Markel is a company born from the belief that people should be able to see the future for its opportunities, and not just its challenges. That’s why we are especially thrilled that this year’s race will benefit Education Above All and supports a project that aids girls’ education in Malawi.”

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

Caroline Miller - 72-year-old, racing enthusiast and supporter of rehoming of racehorses 

Dr. Laura Toogood – Digital expert, businesswoman, media commentator and author 

Eliza McCalmont – Work rider for George Scott

Emma Russell – Jewellery Designer

Lyn Comerford – Director of Strategy and Operation at Markel

Maryam Al Jaber - State Lawyer in Qatar and the first Qatari female trainer of Camels

Milica Dusanovic – Civil Servant and Naval Reserve Officer

Olivia Bowen – Television Personality

Olivia Kennedy – Owner of cleaning business, single mother and member of Cool Ridings

Roya Nikkhah – Royal Editor for The Sunday Times, journalist and broadcaster 

Saffron Oliver – E-commerce and development for family business Tayto Crisps

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


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.

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About the Markel Magnolia Cup presented by Markel

On Friday, 4 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. The 18-year-old, Mellah won in spectacular style just months after sitting on a horse for the first time 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, Rosie Tapner, 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 us at

About Education Above All

The Education Above All (EAA) Foundation is a global foundation established in 2012 by Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser. EAA aims to transform lives through education. We believe that education is the single most effective means of reducing poverty, creating peaceful and just societies, unlocking the full potential of every child and youth, and creating the right conditions to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Through our multi-sectoral approach, unique financing models, focus on innovation as a tool for social good, and partnerships, we aim to bring hope and real opportunities to the lives of impoverished and marginalised boys and girls.

EAA is comprised of: Educate A Child (EAC), Al Fakhoora, Reach Out To Asia (ROTA), Protect Education in Insecurity and Conflict (PEIC), and Innovation Development (ID).

About Education Above All’s work in Malawi

Malawi is one of the least developed countries in the world with approximately 320,000 out of school primary-level children who are excluded from education due to barriers including, a lack of resources, poverty and discrimination. Girls face particular challenges.

This joint project between Education Above All’s Educate A Child (EAC) programme and CAMFED will focus on rural districts and children, where schools are chronically under- resourced and the levels of poverty and disadvantage are profound. The four-year project will support 40,000 primary-level children who are either at risk of dropping out or currently unable to access school.

About Educate A Child International

Educate a Child International is registered with the Charity Commission (charity 1160869) with a mission to ensure quality education for children who are denied this.
Our support assists out of school children at Primary level in several countries to access a quality primary education. We are also working with leading UK Universities to create fully-funded scholarships for forced migrants.

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 2023 event takes place from Tuesday 1 August to Saturday 5 August. The week is headed by three Group 1 races, including the £500,000 Qatar Goodwood Cup, the £1 million Qatar Sussex Stakes, and the £600,000 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, Goodwood Racecourse Press Office;