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Jockeys prepare as the charity race at York Racecourse approaches

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Two of the jockeys for Ride of their Lives (Image: supplied)

WITH the start of the racing season kicking off in York, the drivers of a major race are making their final preparations before climbing into the saddle.

As reported by The Press, the Macmillan Ride of their Lives will take place on Saturday 15 June at York Racecourse, with 12 amateur jockeys given the chance to compete against each other at York Racecourse.

This is the 53rd day of the charity race for Macmillan, with each rider expected to raise at least £4,000 before the big event and additional funds to be donated to the charity on the day when punters flock to the racecourse for a day of merriment. with a good cause in the soul.


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The media were able to speak to two of these jockeys, Charlotte Lawson, who is from Keldholme, and Amelia Thornton-Berry, from York, in the lead-up to the event in less than a month.

Amelia, who has temporarily moved from London while she trains, was looking forward to competing on her home turf of York – a course she has attended all her life.

Speaking to The Press, she said: “My parents live near York so being able to work hybrid means I’ve moved back with my parents to train. The training is pretty intense, but I’m lucky to have a field and a yard. Everyone was flexible and understanding of my schedule.”

Having started riding at the age of three, Amelia has previously been involved in competition – even riding as part of U18 Team GB – but found the challenge of riding a racehorse to be something entirely different.

Her desire to get involved in the Ride of Their Lives began years ago when a neighbor took part in the race. After suffering the loss of her aunt to cancer, she became even more eager to participate.

Amelia said: “I said to my cousin, one day I’m going to do the Macmillan race in aid of her and that’s why I did it.

York Press: Amelia Thornton-Berry - a jockey competing in the Ride of their LivesYork Press: Amelia Thornton-Berry - a jockey competing in the Ride of their Lives

York Press: Amelia Thornton-Berry – a jockey competing in the Ride of their Lives

Amelia Thornton-Berry – a jockey who competes in the Ride of their Lives (Image: supplied)

“It’s not just about her, it’s about all those people who have lost their battle and those who have had a success story with it and how the charity can help those individuals.”

At the time of writing, Amelia’s JustGiving page has received 197% of its original target, with a total of £13,797 raised for Macmillian.

Charlotte, on the other hand, said that although she was not directly affected by cancer, she felt that the ride for Macmillian was “worth it and would benefit a lot of people”.

With a history in equestrian events, she said: “I’ve been riding all my life, I was brought up on a horse – my dad was a farrier.

York Press: Charlotte Lawson - a jockey competing in the Ride of their LivesYork Press: Charlotte Lawson - a jockey competing in the Ride of their Lives

York Press: Charlotte Lawson – a jockey competing in the Ride of their Lives

Charlotte Lawson – a jockey who competes in the Ride of their Lives (Image: supplied)

“I trained as a point-to-pointer and had a try as a point-to-point jockey in my 20s as well as some events in my 30s. It took me a while to get used to riding with the knees up – it’s a totally different experience to riding normal length.”

Charlotte continued, “You’re only as good as the horse you ride. They are all grateful to be taking part and the element of competitiveness is not too strong as we are doing it to support the charity and get the experience.”

The riders see each other regularly in Malton and there is a team meeting once a month which has brought everyone together as they prepare to take part in the once in a lifetime event.