Twelve amateur jockeys will take part in the 2024 Macmillan Ride of their Lives on Saturday 15 June 2024 at York Racecourse

THE 12 amateur jockeys – including nine from Yorkshire - who will take part in an amateur horse race to raise funds for Macmillan Cancer Support have been revealed.

All 12 of the riders will take part in the Macmillan Ride of their Lives at the 53rd Macmillan Charity Raceday on Saturday 15 June 2024.

Amelia Thornton-Berry, 30 and Charlotte Lawson, 42, will represent York in the race while Adam Alderson, 44 hails from Leyburn.

Alice McCullagh, 32, is a nursery manager from Osmotherley near Northallerton. She said: “There were two main reasons why I wanted to take part. I wanted to support Macmillan – two of my best friends were diagnosed this year and I lost my grandpa to a brain tumour, so personally, it’s really important for me.

“The second is to get the opportunity to ride at York racecourse. I’ve ridden all of my life – mostly through show jumping. Although I rode in the Shetland Pony Grand National when I was 10-years-old, so I have some race experience!

“I’m super competitive and I really want to do as well as I can. The training’s going to be tough but I don’t want to let anyone down. I can’t wait to ride down the line at the racecourse and raise as much money as possible for Macmillan.”

Alice will be joined by Antonia Hutchinson, 31 and Charlotte Russell, 41, who are both from Malton.

The eldest participant Karl Avison, 60, a farmer, is also from near Malton and is the first Ride of their Lives participant to take part twice, after previously riding in 2019.

He said: “I raced in 2019. It’s an amazing experience so I’m delighted to be invited back.

“I wanted to do it again because I was diagnosed with prostate cancer earlier this year. I had a major operation and blood tests a few weeks ago and it’s untraceable, so that’s great.

“I tried to get fit before my operation and that helped my recovery – so hopefully training for this race will help me too. I’ve pledged to raise £25,000. It’s a big goal but I’ll keep going until I reach it.”

Joining Karl are Camilla Parsonage, 48, who will represent Beverley while the race’s youngest participant is Louis Pern, 18, from Helmsley.

Louis, an event rider, said: “It’s a great opportunity to raise money for a great cause. It’s a challenge for all of us but something I’m looking forward to.

“I know several people who’ve got a connection to cancer – I just want to raise as much as I can to help as many people as I can.

“I’ve ridden all my life – never a racehorse – but confident my age doesn’t make any difference. We’re all in it for the same reasons.”

They’ll be joined by Gaynor Watts, 56, from Leicestershire, Hermione Drummond-Morray, 29, from Newmarket and Pippa Harvey, 35, from Warwickshire.

The riders are expected to raise at least £4,000 each for Macmillan Cancer Support as they embark on a period of intense jockey training over the next six months, before riding thoroughbred horses around the iconic Knavesmire in front of thousands of spectators.


The Macmillan Ride of their Lives will make a welcome return to the annual Macmillan Charity Raceday in 2024.


This year, the raceday celebrated a milestone of over £10m raised for Macmillan and other local charities since its inception. The race meeting is recognised as the longest running charity raceday in the UK.


Megan Hayman-Tansley, Regional Fundraising Manager at Macmillan Cancer Support, said: “We’re so appreciative of these 12 incredible people who have put themselves forward for next year’s Ride of their Lives.

“It takes a lot of courage and dedication to sign up for a challenge of this magnitude. We can’t wait to work with the riders to raise as much money as possible for people living with and affected by cancer.

“The money raised helps us invest in initiatives like our £4.5m Macmillan Workforce Development Programme, which works with 20 NHS Trusts across Yorkshire and the North East to train nurses so they have the skills to become Cancer Nurse Specialists in the future. With more specialist nurses in the cancer workforce, we can ensure people facing a diagnosis have access the dedicated clinical support they need.”

Anthea Leigh, Racing Manager and Raceday Clerk of the Course at York Racecourse said: “We were delighted that this year’s Macmillan Charity Raceday celebrated the milestone of over £10m raised for Macmillan and other local charities since its inception. The Macmillan Ride of Their Lives riders have an exciting challenge ahead of them, and we hope their fundraising efforts will lead to even more being raised in 2024.”

Just by attending the day, people are helping raise vital funds for Macmillan and other charities. People are encouraged to come along and support the riders on Saturday 15 June 2024. Tickets are now available on the York Racecourse website with a general admission price freeze until Tuesday 2 January 2024.


You can donate to the 2024 Macmillan Ride of their Lives by clicking here