'Cheeky' calendar is helping amateur jockey, Natasha Nelson raise money for Macmillan's Yorkshire Appeal

An amateur jockey is hoping to raise hundreds of pounds for charity by combining her passion for horses with a calendar in the style of the famous Yorkshire Rylstone WI.

The 'cheeky' calendar will help fundraise for Macmillan Cancer Support's Yorkshire Appeal.

Natasha Nelson, from Sheriff Hutton, near York, is one of twelve non-racing riders who will be taking part in one of the biggest charity horse races on the calendar.

The Ernest Cooper Macmillan Ride of Their Lives takes place at York Racecourse on Friday, September 24 and each rider chosen has pledged to raise money for the charity.

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“The Ride of Their Lives, is something I’ve always wanted to take part in,” Natasha said.

“When you’re selected you make a commitment to raise at least £4,000 for Macmillan, the calendar is one way to help me achieve this goal.”

The risqué calendar features stable lasses with strategically placed horses and equestrian accessories.

All the models are made up of employees from David O’Meara Racing, near York, where Natasha has worked for the past ten years.

Natasha, 34, said she was delighted to be taking part in the event which was postponed last year due to the pandemic.

Natasha was not only helped in her venture by her colleagues at the racing yard but by their four-legged superstars.

“I can’t thank my colleagues enough without them it just wouldn’t have happened. We’ve also involved our stable stars like Royal Ascot winner Lord Glitters. Everyone is in on the action as well as local sponsors who have been really supportive.

“The calendar is a fun and cheeky way of raising money and, let’s face it, we all need a bit of fun after the year we’ve just had.

“Macmillan, like all charities, has been massively affected by the pandemic and I want to do whatever I can to support people who need their help, now more than ever.”

The lead-up to the event itself involves months of intense jockey training with the support of a professional trainer before racing a horse loaned by the trainer round York’s iconic course,

Natasha said she is looking forward to race day. “I’m not worried about the race, I’m excited.

“I ride around seven lots a day everyday. I’m lucky I get to do this for my job.

“The biggest challenge for me has been juggling the fundraising, my job and my home life.

“It’s all worth it though. I can’t wait for my young daughter to see me riding at the Knavesmire, I want her to see that racing is something for girls too and she can do anything she puts her mind to.”

There is also lots of local support for Natasha’s racing debut.

“I think we have around two coach loads leaving from the village on the race day in September.

“I’ve been blown away by the support I’ve received, it will be a day to remember.”