Not everyone can say they’ve had a race named after them at Fakenham Racecourse, but one Lynn youngster is part of the unique group who can.
Six-year-old Daisy Mason, from East Winch, who has cerebral palsy and requires a wheelchair, had the first race named in her honour at Fakenham Races New Year’s Day Meeting.
The youngster, who was born 12 weeks’ early, was diagnosed with cerebral palsy and has difficulty controlling her muscles or walking unaided.
Despite this, she has conquered a series of challenges throughout 2017 and is preparing to take on even more this year.
The winner of the Daisy Mason Selling Hurdle, a race stretching over two miles and four furlongs, was horse Ascendant, trained by Johnny Farrelly and rode by Patrick Cowley.
Daisy’s mother Lucy Mason said: “We bumped into David Hunter, chief executive of Fakenham Racecourse, and he recognised Daisy.
“He asked us whether she was the girl on Look East and went on to invite us to go to the races. It was later when we found out that he had actually named a race after her and we decided to keep this a secret from Daisy so we could see her face when she found out.
“She was so excited when she saw her name and she just lit up. It was wonderful to see her reaction.”
Admitting it was difficult to keep such a special surprise a secret, Ms Mason went on to say Daisy was chosen to judge the Best Turned Out horse.
“She looked at all the horses and gave them all a lot of thoughts, but she kept coming back to number six, Ulysses,” said Ms Mason.
“She was saying how she liked this horse’s tail and that horse’s colour. But, once she had seen them all she was quick to decide on number six. There was no changing her mind.
“It was a wonderful day and an amazing experience. We were given passes to go in the owners and trainers area as well as given free food. It was a wonderful day out.”
Mr Hunter said: “I was on the same train as Daisy and her family and I recognised them at King’s Cross and I invited them to come to the races. Daisy told me that she rides at the Magpie Centre.
“I was delighted to see her and her family at the races and I hope they enjoyed their day and come back again.
“The next race is on January 22.”