A CHARITY set up in memory of an agricultural student who died tragically young will benefit from Musselburgh Racecourse’s next race day on Sunday (February 19).

Funds will be raised at The Thomas Sherriff Young Farmers Raceday for the George Crawford Legacy Trust, set up to honour the skilled Borders horse rider who lost his life in a road accident in 2018 aged only 20.

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George, the son of farmers Cameron and Mary Crawford of the Pavilion estate in Melrose, represented Scotland at eventing and was quick to turn his hand to many sports. He was described as a “natural leader” with a sense of fun and freedom and applied a “glass half full” attitude to life.

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The East Lothian track is appealing to the farmer community to support the race day, which is sponsored by leading farm machinery and ground care equipment supplier Thomas Sherriff & Co, and is supported by the Scottish Association of Young Farmers Clubs (SAYFC).

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SAYFC members can take advantage of a Young Farmers admission package costing only £7 if booked in advance using this link  and £2 from each ticket will be donated to The George Crawford Trust.

The Trust aims to provide opportunities for young people, of all abilities, and from all walks of life, to reach their full potential, and encourages youngster to make the most of their drive and determination to achieve a better outcome.

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Since its inception the Trust have made 53 awards including to nine groups or clubs, there is no minimum or maximum award value and young people of all physical and mental abilities are encouraged to apply for awards, which are reviewed quarterly by the board of trustees who have been nominated by George’s family.

Trustee spokesperson, Irene Thomson, said: “We want to give young people a ‘leg up’ in life by enabling them to experience opportunities, participate in events, learn new skills, start a business, gain greater independence, get equipment they need, challenge themselves or help them be their best version of themselves.

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“The Trust makes awards to a wide and diverse range of individuals and groups, and in the past has supported a range of sporting individuals from mountain bikers to swimmers, funded the purchase of equipment from a specialist bed to a hockey stick, and made awards to agricultural students and kids participating in pony racing.

“We are incredibly grateful to Musselburgh Racecourse and SAYFC for this fabulous opportunity to raise awareness and hopefully some funds to continue the valuable work of the George Crawford Legacy Trust.”

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Main sponsor Thomas Sherriff & Co Ltd was established in 1816 - the same year as Musselburgh Racecourse - and is a leading supplier of agricultural and turf machinery across the Borders and Northumberland.

Managing Director Richard Lyall, said: “We have a strong history of supporting the racecourse in terms of supplying and maintaining course machinery and our relationship with ‘Young Farmers’ goes back several decades, so when the opportunity arose to sponsor the race day and to support the excellent George Crawford Legacy Trust, we were delighted to get involved.”

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Courtney Bell, Vice Chair of the Borders region of the SAYFC, said she hoped the race day would become an important fixture in the farming calendar and would be helped by a date switch from March last year which fell in lambing season.

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Courtney said: “The change in the date should allow more people to attend and it is a fantastic opportunity for the farming community to come together and enjoy a great social day out before the hard work begins on lambing and we get into our busy time of the year.

“The race day is something different from other events in the farming calendar and we hope it will attract people from all kinds of backgrounds and increase awareness of the SAYFC while raising funds for a wonderful charity.”

Gates open at noon on Sunday 19 February. Racegoers who purchase tickets before midnight on 18 February will benefit from a £3 discount on the race day admission price. DJ Colin McArdle, who is well known in the farming community, will keep the party going throughout the afternoon.