Cricketing heroes, Jamie and Craig Overton, will be swapping pitches for paddocks when taking up ambassador duties for a Westcountry racecourse.
The talented twin brothers, who have played for Somerset County Cricket since 2012, have been announced as the first non-racing ambassadors for Wincanton during 2020.
As enthusiastic followers of the sport and with homes in Taunton, they are regular visitors to the National Hunt track, which is owned and operated by the Jockey Club.
Craig has recently returned from England’s tour in South Africa and the pair will take part in the Lions tour in Australia, returning at the beginning of March.
Jamie said: “It’s very exciting to be working with Wincanton Racecourse and I very much enjoy going racing there. Being around horses and understanding how you train them to achieve their best potential fascinates me. They are incredible animals and watching them at their yards learning about their day to day routines, and what makes them happy so that they can deliver their best is something I am keen to learn more about.”
Craig added: “I’m honoured to be asked to be an ambassador for Wincanton Racecourse. I enjoy going to the races and seeing how another sport goes about its business. Wincanton has some tremendous races over the winter period and I’m looking forward to watching them.”
The brothers’ enthusiasm for racing has been fuelled by their close friendship with Harry Derham, assistant trainer to the 11-times champion Paul Nicholls.
Last summer they trained the yard’s cricket team, and they’ve been spending time on the gallops, at the yard, and at the races, when their training schedules allow.
Jamie continued: “Our cricket season is April until September, so winter jump racing really fits in. Cricket is riding a crest of wave at the moment, with England’s incredible achievements winning the World Cup and the Ashes, and Ben Stokes Sports Personality of the Year. It’s a great sport and as ambassadors for Wincanton, we hope to open the door both ways so that racegoers can learn about cricket, and cricket fans can come racing. They are two great sports for Somerset and we’re delighted to be involved.”
Huw Williams, the racecourse’s general manager said: “We’re really excited to welcome Craig and Jamie to Wincanton. They both love their racing, and its always great to have them here on a raceday. We’re looking forward to working closely with them, and offering a fresh perspective on Somerset’s most popular sports, with some exciting plans lined up for when they return from Australia.”