Stokesley amateur jockey Luci, wins the prestigious Ride of Their Lives charity horse race

Watched by nearly 11,000 people, amateur rider Luci Hughes raced to victory in the Ernest Cooper Macmillan Ride of Their Lives charity race.

The 12 amateur riders raised more than £150,000 for Macmillan Cancer Support

Riding Midnite Bride, trained by Kevin Ryan, Luci who is from Stokesley took top spot in a race which saw 12 amateur riders riding at York Racecourse. Speaking after her win, the 31-year-old said she felt “absolutely amazing”.

“I’m so delighted to win the race. Every one of the riders has been amazing, and it’s been a pleasure to undertake the ‘Ride of Their Lives’ challenge with every one of them.”

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The riders went head to head in front of the crowds at York Racecourse yesterday, Friday, September 24 to raise funds for Macmillan Cancer Support.

The riders were selected for the race back in December 2019 and were due to ride in June 2020.

Finally, after a 15-month delay due to the pandemic they finally had their big moment – as part of a new race meeting for York Racecourse.

Luci said it had been great to ride in front of her family and friends.

“It’s great to have the support from my family and friends here today, I just wish my grandad was here to see me win too.”

Each of the riders pledged to raise £4,000 for Macmillan Cancer Support which saw them undergo months of intense jockey training with a professional trainer.

Luci raised more than £10,000 and collectively the 12 riders – who have continued fundraising over the 15 months – have raised more than £150,000. The money will go to the charity’s Yorkshire Appeal.

Riding alongside Luci were: Sean Quinn, Lois Teal, SJ Barker, Wendy Midgely, Natasha Nelson, Ria Ginley, Claire Shepherd, Kelsi Langley, Nicola Naughton, Luci Hughes, Thomas Drewry and Mark Tronco.

William Derby, chief executive at York Racecourse, said the racecourse was “incredibly proud” of its partnership with Macmillan.

“The twelve incredible amateur riders were told of their place in the ‘Ride of Their Lives’ race back in December 2019, to have finally witnessed the culmination of all their hard work and fundraising efforts was fantastic.

“Congratulations to our winner Luci, and on behalf of York Racecourse I want to thank all of the amateur riders for their continued patience, hard-work and commitment to fundraising over what has been a difficult 18 months for everyone.”

Clara White, Macmillan’s Fundraising Manager for Yorkshire, said: “Everyone at Macmillan would like to extend our thanks and congratulate the amateur riders on raising £150,000, this phenomenal amount will make a massive difference to people living with cancer right here in Yorkshire.

“Our association with York Racecourse stretches back over 50 years and an incredible £9m has been raised through this wonderful partnership.”

She added: “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 the riders and everyone who has supported them in their fundraising.

“Every penny raised will go towards Macmillan’s Yorkshire Appeal, helping people living with cancer across the region, and it’s no exaggeration to say people with cancer have never needed the support more than they do right now.”

The group of amateur riders included a veterinary assistant, a professional showjumper and an occasional stand-up comedian.

You can still donate to the riders through their JustGiving pages justgiving.com/campaigns/charity/macmillan/macmillanraceday2020

Applications are open for The Ernest Cooper Macmillan ‘Ride of Their Lives’ 2022 race, go to yorkracecourse.co.uk