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Newmarket couple get engaged at July Course after chance meeting two years ago



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A Newmarket couple, who met on a bench in the town’s High Street two years ago, got engaged in the July Course winners’ enclosure after the racecourse team helped the groom-to-be plot his surprise proposal.

Benjamin Glenn and his fiancée Sarah Hudson had booked tickets for an evening meeting earlier this month, which also featured a concert by Irish band The Script after racing. But Sarah, housing manager at RAF Lakenheath, had no idea that Benjamin, who works for the US Air Force, had also secretly contacted Newmarket Racecourses to hatch a plan to propose.

Initially he had thought of popping the question over dinner in one of the racecourse restaurants until The Jockey Club’s sales service manager for Newmarket Racecourses, Chloe Freds, helped him with an idea.

Benjamin Glenn and his fiancée Sarah Hudson were interviewed by race day announcer Gary Capewell. Picture: Megan Rose Photography
Benjamin Glenn and his fiancée Sarah Hudson were interviewed by race day announcer Gary Capewell. Picture: Megan Rose Photography

Benjamin, 36, and originally from Texas, explained: “We have a four- month-old son, Orion, so as soon as I knew we’d got the babysitter I thought, ‘Okay what am I going to do?’ I knew Sarah wanted to come here because she loves The Script, we both do, and she loves the racing.

“I found an email address for the Newmarket Racecourses team and as a shot in the dark I emailed them and said I’d like to propose to my girlfriend.

“Then Chloe responded with this amazing idea of awarding the prizes after a race and then me going down on one knee right after.

The couple are planning to move to Japan later this year. Picture: Megan Rose Photography
The couple are planning to move to Japan later this year. Picture: Megan Rose Photography

“She helped me every step of the way and they’ve executed it perfectly. I owe them all the credit, really.”

There were some nervy moments for Benjamin, as traffic briefly threatened to thwart the plans. But the couple, who live in Newmarket eventually arrived in time to present the trophy for the third race, to winning trainer Harry Eustace. It was then that Benjamin got down on one knee, to gasps and cheers from racegoers.

When Sarah, 39, accepted there was a round of applause before the couple were interviewed by raceday announcer Gary Capewell.

“I’m overwhelmed. I had no idea he was planning this – it was a huge shock,” said Sarah.

“I honestly thought we’d won this competition and we were going to present the winning horse and its owner with their trophy. Then suddenly he gets down on one knee. I didn’t know what to do with myself at the time.”

The couple are planning to move to Japan later this year but will not rush making a decision on where they will get married.

“We’ve always said we’d like to get married on a beach, but let’s see,” said Benjamin.