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23 June 2018

York’s fundraising for Macmillan Charity surpasses £8m

The Macmillan Charity Raceday on June 16th reached a landmark of over £8million being raised by York racecourse in support of the charity. The partnership was formed in 1971 and the charity raceday is Macmillan’s biggest single fundraising event and the largest charity raceday in British racing.

Despite the summer showers over 21,000 racegoers enjoyed an action-packed afternoon which has raised £470,000 so far.

A feature of the day is The Macmillan Charity Race and this year will be remembered for some time as history was made as the Best Western Hotels & Macmillan Ride of their Lives ended in a dead heat. The Judge could not split X Rated and Apterix ridden by Sarah Fanning and Chris Brownless, respectively. The 11 riders in this thrilling race managed to raise an impressive £110,000.

Sarah Fanning, 37, from Middleham said: “I was so nervous at the start, it’s surreal that I’ve won with Chris. Everyone has done amazingly well and raised so much money for Macmillan. That’s what it’s all about.”

At 64-years-old Chris Brownless was the oldest rider in the race: “It’s a special day. I was riding today in memory of my brother who died from cancer in 2015. He would have been 60 today.”

The inspirational group also included Chris Hughes, start of ITV2’s Love Island who finished 5th in the race. Pre-race Chris staged a ‘selfie station’ for fans to have pictures with him, in return for donations to Macmillan. Chris said: “I would like to thank Coral, Jonjo O’Neill, Richard Fahey and Dominic Elsworth for making all of this possible.”

Of the £8million raised, 90% goes to Macmillan Cancer Support to improve the lives of people living with cancer. The remaining 10% is allocated to a number of other charities, such as York Against Cancer; St Leonards Hospice; Racing Welfare and the Injured Jockeys Fund.

Lynda Thomas, Chief Executive of Macmillan Cancer Support said: “A huge thank you to everyone who has supported Macmillan Charity Raceday and made it such a success. At Macmillan we rely on donations to fund our services, so we are hugely grateful to everyone that has been involved.”

Adding his praise was William Derby, York Racecourse Chief Executive and Clerk of the Course. “To have raised over £8m is an amazing achievement and a tribute to everyone past and present who has contributed to make this raceday such a wonderful event. Countless individuals and organisations have been so generous with their time, involvement and support of the day throughout racing and the Yorkshire community. Everyone associated with it can be very proud.”

Macmillan Charity Raceday will be staged again next year on Saturday 15th June.

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