Macmillan Charity Raceday is a fundraising collaboration between York Racecourse and Macmillan Cancer Support. The event has been held annually since 1971; including this year’s total, it has now raised more than £6.5 million for Macmillan and other charitable causes.
The 45th staging of the event fell on Saturday 13 June and everyone who attended, whether with a picnic or by booking a box, played their part as York Racecourse contributes by a share of its receipts. Despite the dismal weather forecast, the final attendance was still over 27,000.
Following an afternoon of racing under rules, that saw Yorkshire trainer Brian Ellison record a double, it was the turn of twelve amateur riders to take part in the Macmillan Charity Race. Each of the riders pledged to raise at least £2,500 each for Macmillan, for a chance to race on the prestigious Knavesmire course. The race was won by Jonathan Gill, the oldest competitor at 61 years of age, aboard Relight My Fire; a thoroughbred that he also owns. However the real winners will be those benefiting from the more than £100,000 that the impressive dozen have already added to the cumulative sum, with more pledges yet to be posted to their final totals.
Other fundraising activity included a Charity Auction where the lots were generously donated, by those within the racing, sporting & wider world. The auction was available for all online, with additional lots being bought by guests at a fundraising lunch.
A team of one hundred volunteers added to the total that includes donations, bucket collections and a grand raffle.
Lynda Thomas, Chief Executive of Macmillan Cancer Support said:
Thank you to everyone who has supported Macmillan Charity Raceday. Once again it will be our single biggest fund raising event of the year, so plays a key role in funding our vital services, which are there to make sure no one faces cancer alone.
It was a fantastic day at York Racecourse and we are grateful for the help of everyone at the Knavesmire. We can’t wait to do it all again in 2016.
Speaking on behalf of York Racecourse, Chief Executive and Clerk of the Course, William Derby added:
This is the biggest charity raceday in Britain and yet again the hard work and support of all involved has been rewarded by the generosity of those who bid, bought prizes and raffle tickets, or simply attended the day.
The racing action was fantastic and strengthens our sense of pride in the day.
However the real positive is all the good that Macmillan Cancer Support will be able to do with the fantastic amount of money raised.
The full list of riders for the Macmillan Charity Race and their justgiving pages:
Emily Easterby, 19, from near Malton. www.justgiving.com/EmilyEasterby
Jonathan Gill, 61, Allerston, near Pickering. www.justgiving.com/Jonathan-Gill5
Kirstie Hargreave, 49, Alnwick. www.justgiving.com/Kirstie-Hargreave
Leanne Humphries, 42, near Doncaster. www.justgiving.com/Leanne-Humphries
Lorna Harrison, 38, Slipho near Scarborough. www.justgiving.com/Lorna-Harrison1
Max Pimlott, 23, Scrayingham, near York. www.justgiving.com/Max-PimlottJockey
Michelle Hayward, 38, Ashbury, near Swindon. www.justgiving.com/MichelleHayward-1
Robert Bracken, 56, Verwood, Dorset. www.justgiving.com/BobBrackenridesagain
Susan Mason, 53, Kirby Grindalythe, near Malton. www.justgiving.com/Susan-Mason2015
Gemma Docherty, 34, Stockton-on-Tees. www.justgiving.com/gemma-docherty2