IronSpine charity highlight at Ascot

  • Last Updated: February 13 2013, 15:22 GMT

One of the most remarkable stories of human spirit, positivity and endeavour will be brought into public focus when the IronSpine Charity Challenge Novices' Hurdle is run at Ascot on Saturday.

Paul Stewart (right): Remarkable story
Paul Stewart (right): Remarkable story

It is now over four years since Paul Stewart, son of racehorse owner Andy, was paralysed in a snowboarding accident.

And this Saturday, on Betfair Ascot Chase Day, Paul will be at the course to raise awareness of the latest challenge in his amazing story of recovery.

Later this year, Paul will undertake the IronSpine Challenge, where he will retrace his steps from Stoke Mandeville Hospital, where he spent six months after the accident, to the 200ft cliff face off which he was swept in an avalanche in the Alps in December 2008.

Paul's IronSpine Challenge will encompass a 2.4m swim, a 112 mile cycle ride on a three-wheel trike, and a marathon around the London area. He will then fly to France and climb up the rock face which originally "broke" him.

The Challenge will be raising money for two charities which help those with spinal cord injuries, Spinal Research and Wings for Life, both of which have supported Paul enormously.

And at Ascot on Saturday, racegoers and TV viewers will be able to hear Paul talk about his miraculous recovery, the IronSpine Challenge, and be able to see the trike that he will be using in his cycle ride.

Paul commented: "I am pushing myself to my mental and physical limits with this challenge.

"I was lucky enough to get part of my legs back, so I want to help those who are not so lucky. In the process, I will hopefully raise awareness and funds for Spinal Research and Wings for life, who with all our help will find a cure.

"I would like to thank Ascot Racecourse and Betfair for giving me this day to tell the world what I am trying to achieve. With generosity such as this, it makes the project all so much easier."

Betfair spokesman Tony Calvin added: "The IronSpine Challenge that Paul is undertaking this summer is phenomenal and we were honoured to have him accept our offer for Spinal Research and Wings For Life to be our nominated charities on Saturday.

"In many ways his story literally defies logic and belief, and he is as impressive an individual as you could wish to meet."