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Fundraisers to saddle up for record-breaking ride

Fundraisers to saddle up for record-breaking ride

Published at 2:55pm 25th January 2016. (Updated at 4:31pm 25th January 2016)

A cancer survivor from Harrogate is one of 12 people preparing to follow in the footsteps of Frankel and Frankie Dettori to help Macmillan Cancer Support.

Julie Kelshaw and her fellow fundraisers will face months of intense training before saddling up for the 'Ride of their Lives' horse race at York this summer.

They have all pledged to raise at least £2,500 each.

The riders will also enter the record books, as the race is part of the oldest and biggest charity raceday in the world - the Macmillan Charity Raceday - which will see its 46th year on Saturday 11 June, having already raised over £6.5 million for charity.

Mum-of-two Julie, 48, is set to race almost three years to the day since being diagnosed with cancer in her tongue.

She was successfully treated following major surgery.

Julie said: "When you're told you have cancer, you're in shock and it's difficult to take it all in. I had two Macmillan nurses who were there for me from the start, through my treatment and recovery. I had all sorts of questions about my operation - it was going to last 10 hours, so I was quite worried.

"They knew the treatment like the back of their hand, so they were able to put my mind at rest. They visited me every day I was in hospital, and when I was back home, I knew they were only ever a phone call away. They were fantastic.

"I wanted to take part in the race to give something back to Macmillan, and because it's in York where I had my operation. I'm really excited about the day; there are plans for a coachload of friends and family to come over to cheer me on.

"I've ridden since I was a child, but I've only started riding again regularly since last summer. I've got a lot of riding ahead of me and work in the gym. It's a big challenge, but that's exactly what I was looking for."

The riders will be given expert riding tuition at the Northern Racing College in Doncaster and a training day at York with former champion jockey Kevin Darley.

Nikki Denton, Special Events Manager at Macmillan Cancer Support, said: "We're so grateful these 12 amateur riders are taking on such a huge physical challenge to raise money for Macmillan.

"Money raised for Macmillan helps fund our vital services which are there for anyone affected by cancer."

Other riders in the race include Marcia Sanderson, 47, from Ripon, and Christine Swiers, 53, from Helperby.

Macmillan Ride

The fundraisers preparing to ride at York in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support