And she’s off ... Amy gets invitation to visit Queen

BRITAIN S youngest racecourse manager may be more accustomed to bucking horses than Buck House but that is where she will head next week. For, Huntingdon Racecourse s Amy Starkey is going to London to visit the Queen. Miss Starkey, 25, has been invited to

BRITAIN'S youngest racecourse manager may be more accustomed to bucking horses than Buck House but that is where she will head next week.

For, Huntingdon Racecourse's Amy Starkey is going to London to visit the Queen.

Miss Starkey, 25, has been invited to Buckingham Palace on Tuesday for a reception given by The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh.

She has been recognised as one of 300 people across the country who have made a significant contribution to local or national life in 2006.

Miss Starkey, who forged her new career after a broken elbow took away her chance of becoming a champion gymnast, said: "When the letter arrived from Buckingham Palace, I had to telephone to check that it was genuine. I thought someone was pulling my leg.

"What is especially thrilling for me is that The Queen is such a great supporter of horse racing.

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"Although Her Majesty is better known as an owner of horses that race on the flat, she has had one runner over the jumps at Huntingdon Racecourse.

"Shining Strand raced at Huntingdon last February. Unfortunately. the horse unseated his rider on that occasion, but he's fared better since then.

The Queen is also the Patron of Huntingdon Racecourse's parent company, the Jockey Club."

The evening reception marks the beginning of a busy period for the managing director of the Brampton racecourse as Boxing Day marks the biggest meet of the year at the track.

In excess of 6,000 people are expected to attend the meet and Miss Starkey said: "Everyone likes to get out for a breath of fresh air after being at home on Christmas Day and there's nowhere better to come in Cambridgeshire than to Huntingdon Racecourse for an afternoon of National Hunt racing.

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