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The 49th staging of Macmillan Charity Raceday at York Racecourse raised a record amount for charity, with over £640,000 and counting.  With people still able to make donations, the aggregate figure since its inception in 1971 is now approaching £9 million.

The long-lasting partnership between York Racecourse and Macmillan Cancer Support remains the biggest single fundraising event for Macmillan Cancer Support as well as being the largest charity raceday in British Racing.

Over 20,000 racegoers enjoyed an action-packed afternoon which saw the £100,000 Pavers Foundation Catherine Memorial Sprint go to Recon Mission, trained by Tony Carroll and ridden by Robert Winston.

The finale to Macmillan Charity Raceday saw a further record as the supporters of the eleven riders in the Ernest Cooper Macmillan Ride of their Lives contributed more than £300,000 to the overall figure raised. On the track, the honours went to Charlotte Atkinson from Ireland riding Instant Attraction, however all participants should feel like winners as they all braved torrential rain to complete the race.

The group of riders included Macmillan Cancer Support President Lady Halifax who went the extra mile, or perhaps that should read ‘the extra mile and a furlong’. One of her many supporters commented “You are crazy – but awesome!”; in truth it is all the supporters of the riders who are the truly awesome ones.

Over 200 Macmillan volunteers helped with the fundraising events across the day with in addition to the support of countless individuals and organisations with fundraising activities of auctions, raffles, fundraising lunch and donations.  Of the near £9m raised, 90% goes to Macmillan Cancer Support to improve the lives of people living with cancer.  The remaining 10% goes to a number of charities such as York Against Cancer, St Leonard’s Hospice, Eye Cancer Moghissi Trust, Racing Welfare and the Injured Jockeys Fund.

Lynda Thomas, Chief Executive of Macmillan Cancer Support, 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 here today. You will help ensure Macmillan can continue to be there for people living with cancer, from the moment of their diagnosis.”

Sarah Proud, Macmillan Counsellor at York Hospital, explained how the annual York Racecourse fundraiser would help Macmillan:

“Just £140 could pay for a Macmillan grant to help cover a patient’s cancer treatment travel costs. While £204 could pay for a Macmillan nurse for a day, who can help patients and their families by providing essential medical, practical and emotional support. So, it’s thanks to the likes of our fantastic fundraising jockeys, not to mention the countless York racegoers, that Macmillan can help anyone impacted by cancer find their best way through.”

William Derby, York Racecourse Chief Executive and Clerk of the Course commented; “To have raised a record amount at the 49th time of asking is an amazing achievement and a tribute to everyone 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 from throughout the racing and Yorkshire community – it is a special day everyone associated with it can be very proud of.”

Lee Cooper, Director at Ernest Cooper Transport sponsor of the Ride of Their Lives race said: “All the riders are doing this for an amazing charity which is close to all of our hearts. Passionate individuals riding for one common goal, raising funds for Macmillan Cancer Support and Ernest Cooper is proud to be supporting Macmillan and the riders for this year’s running of the incredible Ride of Their Lives.”

Macmillan Charity Raceday is a fundraising collaboration between York Racecourse and Macmillan Cancer Support. The day of professional racing and fundraising has been held annually since 1971.

You can still donate to the riders’ fundraising pages at: www.macmillan.org.uk/charityraceday

Macmillan Charity Raceday will be back to celebrate its 50th anniversary on Saturday 13 June 2020.