Features | 2nd December 2021

Charity horse Burrow Seven may not have even made his racecourse debut yet but the racing club horse has already raised £100,000 for vital research into motor neurone disease.

The four-year-old son of Kayf Tara will be cheered on by 3,000 members of the Burrow Seven Racing Club when he competes for the first time next month.

Trained in Middleham, North Yorkshire by Jedd O’Keeffe, Burrow Seven is set to take his chance in a National Hunt Flat race at Catterick on 14th December.

He is named after former Leeds Rhinos star Rob Burrow, who was diagnosed with the disease almost two years ago and has since dedicated his life to raising much-needed funds for the Motor Neurone Disease Association.

Rugby League fan Phil Hawthorne, who set up the racing club last year after developing the idea with Burrow’s friend and former Rhinos star Barrie McDermott, takes up the story.

“Mark Dwyer, the former jockey turned bloodstock agent, is a good friend of mine and told me Henrietta Knight had just the horse for us. We saw him last autumn and were keen to have him. He had a few setbacks which have held up our plans but is still a young horse with time on his side.

“Even though we’ve had to wait over a year to see him run the response has been fantastic, with over 3,000 people signing up to support the club and the Rob Burrow Fight Back Fund with the MDNA,” says Phil.

“The support we’ve had from the Rugby League family and the horse racing family has already been amazing and we’re hoping this horse will help us raise even more funds for the MNDA and Leeds Hospital Charities, which is also close to Rob’s heart. Any prize money he wins will go to the charities.”

Around 130 members turned up at O’Keeffe’s yard to see the gelding during National Racehorse Week in September and Catterick is preparing to welcome a big number of them when Burrow Seven makes his eagerly awaited debut.

McDermott, who was instrumental in getting the club off the ground, and former dual champion Flat jockey Paul Hanagan will be among those lending their support at Catterick on the much anticipated big day.

Burrow Seven will be out to emulate the achievements of another charity horse Buzz, who has raised around

£45,000 for the Royal Marsden Cancer Charity following wins in the Cesarewitch and the Coral Hurdle at Ascot for trainer Nicky Henderson and his winning syndicate, Thurloe Thoroughbreds.

You can still support Rob by joining the Burrow Seven Racing Club for just £59 at