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Applications open for 2018 Ride of their lives

Top jockey training and a race on thoroughbred horses in front of 20,000 spectators

Horse riding enthusiasts are being given the opportunity to train under a top retired jockey for six months and race at the iconic York Racecourse in front of over 20,000 spectators – all in the name of a fantastic cause.

Raising vital money for Macmillan Cancer Support, applications for the 2018 Best Western Hotels & Macmillan Ride of their Lives are now open – and close on Monday 4th December.

A once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, the Ride of their Lives will be the grand finale of the Macmillan Charity Raceday on Saturday 16th June 2018. As part of the fundraising challenge, successful applicants will have the opportunity to race thoroughbred horses on the famous Knavesmire course.

The class of 2017 Ride of their Lives’ group – which included a care worker, a swimming teacher and a vet – raised more than £130,000 between them for Macmillan. All money raised has helped provide emotional, financial medical and practical support to the growing number of people living with cancer across the UK.

Belinda Keighley, 42, from Luckley in Gloucestershire won the 2017 race, and was joined on the podium by sons Freddie, 9, and Harry, 6. Having shed three stone in the build-up to the day, she described the ride as a “dream come true” and dedicated the win to her mum, Kathy, who died in 2010 following a cancer diagnosis, and her dad John, her carer, who died just three months later.

Alexandra Schimmel, Senior Supporter Events Manager at Macmillan Cancer Support, said: “Each year, we’re astounded by the dedication of supporters who train for months for this race while also raising phenomenal amounts for Macmillan. Donations make a huge difference to people living with cancer, so we’re extremely grateful. It’s a tough challenge, but all the hard work is rewarded on the day itself. Racing at York in front of a huge crowd will be an unforgettable experience for them all.”

To apply, or for further information, please visit www.yorkracecourse.co.uk. Each rider will need to raise a minimum of £3,000 to take part.

Macmillan Charity Raceday is a fundraising collaboration between York Racecourse and Macmillan Cancer Support. The day of professional racing and fundraising for Macmillan and other charitable causes has been held annually since 1971, raising more than £7.6 million in total for Macmillan and other charitable causes. Raceday this year raised a grand total of just over £500,000.

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