Hundreds of military personnel, past and present – including a group of Chelsea Pensioners – are expected to be at Chepstow Racecourse next week for the annual Military Raceday.
The event has grown since last year’s inaugural event and up to 5,000 people are anticipated to attend the race meeting on November 8.
Among them will be a number of Chelsea Pensioners, the iconic red-suited retired soldiers from the Royal Hospital, Chelsea, some of whom served in World War II.
Two years ago, a group of uniformed Chelsea Pensioners attended and were given a rousing reception from thousands of racegoers.
Although last year was the first Military Raceday held at Chepstow, the event had built on the success of previous SSAFA - the Armed Forces charity – Race Day events, which began in 2013.
Since 2014, around £200,000 has been raised for SSAFA at the race course, enabling the UK’s oldest tri-service charity to carry on its life-changing work for serving and former Armed Forces personnel, and their families, just as it has since 1885.
There is a full card of seven races on the day, with the first beginning at 12.30pm, and entry is free to those who are military or former military, or have an Armed Forces connection.
There will also be a display from car manufacturer Tesla, including a number of their latest renowned models as well as a competition to win use of a new Tesla for a day.
Spencer Cutlan of Tesla said: “At Tesla, we have great respect and gratitude for the UK Armed Forces. We demonstrate this through the activities of our very own ‘Veterans in Tesla’ community, and our veteran-specific career pathways.
“Racegoers on November 8 will get an up close and personal look at our Veterans at Tesla Model 3, as well as the record-breaking Model Y.
“We’ll have members of the community present to talk about Veterans in Tesla and it’s aims of engaging, supporting, recruiting, and nurturing individuals post-service.”
Sponsorship of each individual race will also contribute to funds raised on behalf of three chosen military charities – Combat Stress, The Royal Hospital Chelsea, and SSAFA.
Chepstow Racecourse general manager Lindsay Knox said: “The link with the military charities is now a well-established one at Chepstow and something we are very proud of.
“It allows us to recognise the efforts and sacrifices of service people across the generations and to support the charities that work with retired service personnel.
“We are really looking forward to welcoming back lots of former and current military people, helping them to raise some significant funds, and for everyone to enjoy a great day’s racing.”