One night after a few glasses of wine I agreed to apply to ride in the Macmillan charity at York. Just before Christmas I got a phone call from Anthea at York Racecourse to let me know I'd been accepted for the race.
I have really enjoyed being involved in the race for the last two years especially seeing the progress of Froot in 2014 who went from having never sat on a thoroughbred to finishing 4th on the big day. I found the atmosphere on race day very special and each riders story and association with Macmillan inspiring. Plenty of people have said I ought to be having a go and I've been making excuses for long enough - too fat, too busy, too unfit, too frightened! This year I'm 40 so it seems as good a time as any to bite the bullet!
I used to ride reasonably well! I rode 34 winners as an amateur under rules as well as plenty of point to point winners. I reckon I last rode in public in 2000 so its over 15 years since I last donned those (seriously unflattering) white breeches. I'm going to have to put some real work in on my weight and fitness and am very worried about showing myself up! Its easy to stand in the paddock issuing instructions of what to do and not to do but not so easy to carry them out effectively!
I will be harassing people for sponsorship and arranging several fundraising events. Last year the race raised over £110,000. Cancer effects us all. The resources and support that Macmillan provides at the most difficult time in a persons life is second to none.
York Racecourse is our Ascot, in fact its more than that, born and bred only a few miles north - York is where we all want to train winners. As an amateur rider I didn't ever ride at York so to have the chance to race ride again as a one off and at the same time contribute to the fantastic charity that Mcmillan is makes me feel giddy and nervous at the same time.
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