16 October 2019

Chris Hughes and Kieran Shoemark encourage men to speak up about their health

Chris Hughes and Kieran Shoemark talk horseracing, men’s health and Movember in the build-up to Champions Day

As we approach the culmination of this year’s British Champions Series – Champions Day, which takes place on Saturday 19th October at Ascot Racecourse – Mo Bro and horseracing fanatic Chris Hughes has been chatting with professional Flat jockey Kieran Shoemark about their personal struggles, men’s health and the importance of speaking up when times are tough.
Chatting in the Movember Man Van, which travels the country across the year arming men with knowledge about their health to ultimately stop them dying too young, the friends and Gloucestershire locals were exceptionally honest about their past experiences with both mental and physical health issues, in the hope it will encourage other men to speak up during times of hardship and show that talking can save lives.
Chris, a presenter for ITV Racing, said: “Kieran and I have had quite different experiences but we both found that opening up and talking about what we were going through was the best thing we could have done.

“Kieran and I have had quite different experiences but we both found that opening up and talking about what we were going through was the best thing we could have done.”

“As men we do sometimes feel like we can’t be honest or show our vulnerability but the sooner you open up, the better. Hopefully by sharing our stories we can encourage other men to seek the help they might need.”
Nearly 12 months on from a failed drugs test and subsequent suspension from racing, Kieran described how finally being honest was the catalyst for getting his life back on track.
The promising jockey, who has been widely praised for his honesty, explained: “Since I asked for help, I can’t stress how drastically my life has changed beyond mine and anyone’s recognition I think.”
Throughout the video, Chris speaks about the staggering impact of mental health, with 12 men a day taking their own life, and the vital work that Movember does with suicide prevention.
He also discusses the need to raise awareness around Prostate and Testicular Cancer, the latter of which is particularly close to his heart after his brother was diagnosed after Chris took part in a testicular examination on live TV last year.
“It was different, something I haven’t done before, but it led onto my brother checking himself that evening which was quite a fantastic story really, a story which didn’t hit me at first but you never think you’re helping people that close to home,” Chris said. 
The Movember Man Van will be in attendance at QIPCO British Champions Day on Saturday 19th October at Ascot Racecourse, offering up free haircuts and advice on men’s health. 

Rod Street, Chief Executive of British Champions Series said, “Movember does vital work by tackling the biggest health issues facing men. We’re thrilled to have them at QIPCO British Champions Day to continue to raise awareness and help stop men from dying too young.”
Anne-Cecile Berthier, Movember UK Country Director said, “we’re really proud to be the first ever Official Charity of the QIPCO British Champions Series. By working together we’ve been able to positively impact the lives of many men from both the horseracing and wider communities”.
For tickets go to britishchampionsday.co.uk.