Hall and Woodhouse has extended its sponsorship of the popular Badger Beers Chase at Wincanton Racecourse for a further three years, to continue as the longest current sponsor in British Jump racing.
The leading independent family-owned Dorset brewer has sponsored the Listed handicap chase at The Jockey Club’s Somerset course since its inauguration.
The Badger Beers Chase is one of Wincanton’s feature races of the season and always draws a large crowd to the West Country-based track. In 2021 the 60th Badger Beer Handicap Chase was won in fine style by Rocco for jockey Jordan Nailor and trainer Nigel Twiston-Davies.
Hall and Woodhouse’s sponsorship of the Badger Beer Handicap Chase stretches back all the way to March 1963, after the first running was postponed in late 1962 due to the Big Freeze of winter 1962/63. Their long-running association will exceed Hennessey’s support of the Newbury race which is now known as the Ladbrokes Trophy.
Mark Woodhouse, who is the Family Director at Hall and Woodhouse, explained that his family’s interest in horses is one which goes back generations.
He said: “I think we’ve always loved horses in the brewing industry, because we relied on horses to get our beer to the pubs and the other trading outlets. My aunt and my mother were mad keen on racing and my uncle Dick Woodhouse loved it – he won two Foxhunter Chases (owning, training and riding Woodside Terrace in 1965 & Highworth in 1970) at the Cheltenham Festival and rode in the Grand National.
“I think Colonel Whitbread was the first person to sponsor a race in this country (the Whitbread Gold Cup at Sandown Park in 1957) and my uncle Edward Woodhouse – who was chairman at the time – thought ‘well, whatever Colonel Whitbread can do, we can do as well!
“Our sponsorship of this race is a huge team effort from everyone at Hall and Woodhouse. Badger Beers Chase Day is staged very much as a celebration and our chance to say a big thank you to our staff for all their hard work throughout the year.”
Not only has Woodhouse been sponsoring the race but he has also been involved as an owner, with three winners of the contest in recent years beginning with Meanus Dandy in 2010.
He added: “We then went on to bigger and better things and Present Man won it back-to-back in 2017 and 2018 and they were perfect days. This race is our Gold Cup and there was no prouder moment than when Bryony (Frost) won her first big Saturday winner on Present Man back in 2017.”
When asked about the brewery’s continued involvement in the race, he said: “I think we’ll drink to another 60 years!”
Jack Parkinson, General Manager of Wincanton Racecourse, added: “We are delighted to continue working with the Hall and Woodhouse team for a further three years as they continue their sponsorship of the Badger Beer Chase.
“It is a fantastic achievement to have reached 60 years of the partnership in 2021 and we are really looking forward to building on our experience of working together as we look ahead to the next.”
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