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14 June 2022

Fundraising for Macmillan’s Charity Raceday at York Racecourse approaches £500,000

The annual Macmillan Charity Raceday on Saturday 11 June has raised an impressive figure approaching £500,000 for Macmillan Cancer Support. This staggering amount includes fundraising contributions from raceday sponsors, a charity horse race and skydive, a silent auction, generous donors, supporters and York Racecourse itself.   

This year marked the 51st staging of the partnership between Macmillan and York Racecourse and marked a welcome return to a full capacity crowd following the pandemic. Over 18,000 racegoers enjoyed an action-packed afternoon which included the Macmillan ‘Ride of Their Lives’ charity race won by Samantha (Sam) Brown.  Sam, riding in memory of her Grandad, raced to victory riding Shake A Leg, a horse trained by her mum Julie Camacho.  Sam, who has individually raised over £23,000 for Macmillan Cancer Support, said: “It feels amazing to win, I didn’t expect it, but I knew he had a good chance, it went so quickly, before I knew it I was out front and then he really did everything himself.  

“Winning the race hasn’t sunk in at all, I’m feeling so emotional and having my family and friends supporting me has meant the absolute world, I want to thank everyone for their generosity and support”

The ten fearless riders who opened the day of racing have collectively raised £105,000 for Macmillan. The full line-up of jockeys included Michael Andrews, George Atkinson, Bella Brown, Samantha Brown, Lucy Horan, Kerry Humphries, Bethany Johnson, Wendy Normile, Issy Saxby and Carolyn Woods. 

Unfortunately, one rider, Morgan Faye Prescott, was injured while training for the challenge and was unable to ride in the race, she took the brave decision to complete the nine furlongs on her crutches before racing began, completing the challenge in a unique style. 

The amateur riders were joined by a group of twelve thrill seekers who took part in the Macmillan ‘Jump of Their Lives’ skydive in April and enjoyed hospitality at York Racecourse as a thank you for raising £30,000 for Macmillan. The day was closed by the Macmillan silent auction, with generous supporters bidding on 40 lots raising £70,000, as well as an army of Macmillan volunteers bucket collecting for people living with cancer across Yorkshire.  

William Derby, Chief Executive at York Racecourse, said: “It was a pleasure to welcome back racing fans to our first Macmillan Charity Raceday at full capacity for two years.  The fabulous afternoon of racing was coupled with an outstanding show of generosity for a worthwhile cause. We are so grateful to so many people in horseracing and on the racecourse in helping to raise such an incredible figure.   

“York Racecourse are very proud to have played a part in reaching a figure approaching £500,000 for the valuable work that Macmillan does for all those living with cancer.  Our partnership with the charity stretches over 50 years during which time an incredible £9.5 million has been raised.  

“Congratulations to all our fundraisers, amateur jockeys and skydivers, and everyone who generously contributed on the raceday itself. 

“Our heartfelt thanks to all our supporters and racegoers who have achieved this truly remarkable sum.” 

Claire Rowney is Macmillan’s Executive Director of Fundraising, Marketing, and Innovation, she said: “On behalf of all our Macmillan nurses, doctors, support workers and cancer experts, I wanted to say a massive thank-you to everyone who made this year’s Macmillan Charity Raceday such a success. 

“Macmillan Cancer Support receives no government funding and relies almost entirely on donations – we simply couldn’t help the growing number of people who need us, without the support and generosity of everyone who attended. 

“This incredible amount will help ensure Macmillan can continue to be there for people living with cancer, from the moment of their diagnosis.”

Thrill seekers can apply to take part in the Macmillan ‘Jump of their Lives’ 2023, a tandem skydive over the beautiful Yorkshire countryside next April, visit the York Racecourse website for more details.

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