On 13th June 2020, I will be undertaking the daunting but exhilarating challenge of racing 1 mile and 1 furlong around York Racecourse in front of a 20,000+ crowd. I grew up riding ponies and horses in eventing, show-jumping and dressage, but riding a thoroughbred at high speed is an altogether different matter!
The long-lasting partnership between York Racecourse and Macmillan Cancer Support remains the biggest single fundraising event for Macmillan Cancer Support, which has now raised close to £9 million since its inception to 1971.
The Challenge Ahead
I have set a personal target of £15,000, which is a daunting task as I write this in mid January. My training schedule has begun; I started riding out at trainer Tim Easterby’s at Great Habton on 7th January and will be there 3 mornings a week for the next five months. I have started on the slower point to point horses and am currently receiving plenty of tuition to transform me from a rider into a jockey. Hopefully I will soon be let loose onto the faster, flat horses and I will begin to build a relationship with my mount for the big race (which will be confirmed much closer to the time).
Before I get to raceday, I will also need to pass fitness and riding tests at the Northern Racing College. So, as well as riding out three days a week, I will be pounding the roads around Westow and getting myself fit in the gym at Jack Berry House.
Cancer affects everyone and I will be riding in memory of my cousin and godfather Caley, and close family friend Colin, both of whom were taken too young by cancer in the last few years.