York racegoers break fundraising record on Macmillan Charity Raceday

The Macmillan mascot Hero makes friends with racegoers at a previous race day. Photograph: Macmillan
13 Jun 2015 @ 8.40 pm
| Charity, Sport

Everyone was a winner at York races on Saturday (June 13).

Racegoers helped set a new record for the funds raised for Macmillan Cancer Support, with more than £400,000 already generated from Macmillan Charity Raceday.

The day 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.

Everyone who attended the 45th staging of the event, 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, more than 27,000 attended.

Rider, 61, triumphs

Following an afternoon of professional racing, that saw Yorkshire trainer Brian Ellison record a double, it was the turn of 12 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 from Allerston, near Pickering. He was the oldest competitor at 61, and triumphed aboard his own thoroughbred Relight My Fire.

Other fundraising activity included a charity auction, while 100 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.

Chief executive and clerk of the York Racecours, William Derby said it is the biggest charity raceday in Britain. “The racing action was fantastic and strengthens our sense of pride in the day,” he said.

“However the real positive is all the good that Macmillan Cancer Support will be able to do with the fantastic amount of money raised.”