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Friday, 18 January, 2019

'Thrilled and scared' – amateurs saddle up for Ride of their Lives at York

Brightening your day with turf tales from beyond the tracks

York takes centre-stage for the Dante this week
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Newbury sponsorship manager Isabella Budge and Racing Welfare’s Sarah Fanning are among 11 amateur riders who will take part in a charity race at York on June 16 to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support.

Each rider has pledged to raise at least £3,000 for the charity as they embark on training for the Best Western Hotels & Macmillan Ride of their Lives charity race.

Budge, 25, says: “I’m thrilled and scared about taking part in the race. When I found out I’d been selected I nearly cried. My dad was the first person I told. He was so happy for me.”

Budge’s father Karl is in remission from prostate cancer, while her grandfather Tony, a successful owner, died seven years ago due to liver cancer.

“This is a charity and a cause very close to my heart,” adds Budge. “Cancer will affect all of us either directly or indirectly at some point.”

Take care online 

Good news on the equine care and welfare front in Ireland from the HRI careers and racing education department, which has launched an online training course in conjunction with the Irish Horse Welfare Trust and the Racing Academy & Centre of Education.

The syllabus consists of eight online modules covering legislation around horse ownership and behaviour, safe handling, feeding, stable management and first aid.

It is envisaged the programme will act as a stepping stone for youngsters wishing to follow a career in the equine industry.

For further information email or visit or

Ride the Derby course 

Members of the public can apply to ride in the Pertemps Champions Willberry Charity Derby, a Flat race over the Derby course and distance at Epsom on August 27.

The race will again be run in aid of the Bob Champion Cancer Trust and Hannah’s Willberry Wonder Pony charity.

Of the 12 places in the race, eight are available to members of the public, who can apply via with a closing date of February 21.

Applicants need to be competent riders over the age of 18 and under 12st, who can pledge to raise £5,000-plus and source their own racehorse.

Members can read the latest exclusive interviews, news analysis and comment available from 6pm daily on


When I found out I’d been selected I nearly cried. My dad was the first person I told. He was so happy for me
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