Grand National winner to join Queen’s Baton Relay in Worcester

Lizzie Brunt in her Batonbearer gear with Pineau De Re

The most unusual participant in The Queen's Baton Relay when it reaches Worcester this week has been revealed – former Grand National winner Pineau De Re.

Pineau De Re was trained by Richard Newland in Claines in the city, and hit the national headlines when he won the legendary race in 2014 by five lengths.

The famous horse, now 19-years-old and retired from racing, will help his rider Lizzie Brunt to bear the Baton across the famous Worcester Racecourse when the Relay arrives in the city on Friday 22 July.

Lizzie said: "Pineau De Re is my best friend so it is a real honour to be carrying the Baton with him. I feel he deserves to be shown off for what he did in 2014 – I don't think people appreciate he is still well and looking so healthy."

As Lizzie is pregnant she will not be riding Pineau De Re on the big day, so she will be walking her horse and the Baton around the racecourse's southern edge, from Sabrina Bridge to the decorative gates on the western side of the course.

Members of the Worcester Athletics Club will be running ahead of Lizzie and her famous horse, and the Army will also be present at the racecourse to host family activities.

Thousands of people are expected to line Worcester's streets on 22 July to watch Lizzie and other local Batonbearers carry the Baton through the city from 5.30pm on the day, as part of the build-up to the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.

During its time in Worcester, the Relay will visit Worcester Cathedral, Worcestershire County Cricket Club's famous New Road ground, and many other city locations, and will also – in a memorable moment – cross the river Severn by dragon boat.

The day will end with the Baton being welcomed to the city with a ceremony at the University of Worcester's City Campus, followed by street entertainment at The Arches.

Birmingham 2022 is hosting the 16th official Queen's Baton Relay – a journey which brings together and celebrates communities across the Commonwealth during the build-up to the Games. The Relay provides the opportunity for communities to experience the excitement for Birmingham 2022.

The Queen's Baton Relay is travelling the length and breadth of England, before culminating at the Opening Ceremony for Birmingham 2022 on 28 July 2022.

Members of the public are encouraged to get involved with the celebrations and embrace the arrival of the Baton, taking the opportunity to experience the buzz of Birmingham 2022 in their community. The Birmingham 2022 website gives more detail on the events and where to line the route.

Thousands of Batonbearers, each with inspiring backgrounds and stories, have been given the honour of carrying the Baton during the journey through England, including those nominated in recognition of their contributions to their local community, whether that be in sport, education, the arts, culture or charity. Between 40 and 130 Batonbearers will carry the Baton each day, and the Relay will reach hundreds of villages, towns and cities during its tour of the country.

Since its inaugural appearance at the Cardiff 1958 Commonwealth Games, the Queen's Baton Relay has been a tradition for the Commonwealth Games.

The Birmingham 2022 Queen's Baton Relay began at Buckingham Palace on 7 October 2021, when The Queen placed her Message to the Commonwealth into the Baton and passed it to four-time Paralympic gold medallist Kadeena Cox, who had the honour of being the first of thousands of Batonbearers to carry the Baton.

Since then, the Baton has visited Commonwealth nations and territories in Europe, Africa, Oceania, the Americas and the Caribbean.

For more information on the Queen's Baton Relay, visit the Birmingham 2022 website.

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