TGW & SMITHY’S PROMOTIONS PROMOTER BRENDON SMITH IS DONATING $2000 to kick off a fundraiser to assist injured track work riders Ben Saunders and Wade Clasohm.
On July 22 at Smith’s next fight promotion TGW & Smithy Bring the Big Fights 17, twelve jockeys will compete in a three person mixed tag team challenge.
The winners will receive a trophy and the $2000 winners cheque which will be donated to the families of Ben Saunders and Wade Clasohm.
The racing industry participants who will jump into the ring are – Brooke Stower, who is also Brendon Smith’s niece, Cassie Schmidt, Sally Sweeney, Tiffani Brooker, Naoki Ogura, Kenji Yoshida, Luke Rolls, Brent Evans, Josh Oliver, Beau Appo, Nozi Tomizawa and Nick Keal.
“The racing industry and boxing industry have always worked well together,” Brendon Smith said.
“The boxing industry supports the racing industry and the racing industry supports the boxing industry – they nearly go hand in hand.
“This is another example of that.
“This one is very close to me for two reasons.
“Firstly I’ve known Ben Saunders all my life, Ben’s brother Larry was apprentice to my father and even lived with our family and Ben, Larry as well Nerida Saunders all rode horses for my parents.
“Secondly my nephew Harley, had a motorbike accident which left him a paraplegic so I intimately understand the journey ahead for Ben, Wade and their families.
“Financially it’s a life changer so any money we can raise for these two families is going to make a difference.
“The costs are ongoing, not only right now but right through the rehab phase and into the future.
“The boxing and racing industries always rally when some one is need – so that’s what we’re doing.
“We held a similar event for Kristy Banks a few years ago and raised $15,000 so that’s the aim once again for this one.”
Local racing identity Mark Boof Currie has played a leading role in organising the jockeys to jump into the ring on July 22.
“This is for a great cause and for two of our own within the industry so I was happy to play a small role in making this happen,” Currie said.
“It’s a wonderful gesture from Brendon Smith and I know it means a lot to the racing industry to be able to do something like this to assist Ben and Wade.
“When I started reaching out to the jockeys to participate no one hesitated.
“There will be plenty of competition and a healthy rivalry on the night when they step between the ropes but at the end of the day they’re all involved because they know it will benefit two of their colleagues.
“Ben and Wade have touched the lives of all of the participants in some way and they’re willing to do anything they can to assist their families.
“It’s not only the financial contribution that will help it’s also another way to show Ben and Wade we are right behind them.
“I’m sure the event will put a smile on both of their faces and I’m positive it will give both of them a laugh as well.
“May the best team win.
“There’s already plenty of banter going around the track so I know they’ll put on a good show.”
The format will be four teams of three – each team consisting of two males and one female with unlimited tags. Their will be two preliminary bouts the winners of both bouts go through and fight in the final.
“I’m really honoured to be a part of this,” Brooke Stower said.
“Ben and Wade have played a role in my career and they’re both champions and inspirations to all of us in the industry.
“To have this opportunity to give something back to them is a privilege.
“It’s an amazing gesture from my uncle Brendon Smith to kick off the fundraising effort by donating $2000 prize money for the winning team which will go to the families.
“Hopefully everyone gets behind this event and we raise heaps of money for Ben and Wade and their families.”
The jockey tag team fundraiser will be a major drawcard on the July 22 TGW & Smithy Bring the Big Fights 17 card to be held at Rumours International.
“We will have special guests, special auction items and other ways for people to donate on the night,” Smith said.
“Every cent is going to both families and I know how much every dollar will be needed for both men moving forward.
“They have a big journey ahead of them and we want to get behind them both as much as we can.
“We’ll have more details on how people can donate in the coming weeks.
“We look forward to having the jockeys in the gym in the next few months getting ready for the fight night.”