Amateur rider Leanne Humphries, is preparing to take part in a charity race at York Racecourse on 13 June to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support.
Leanne, has a very personal reason for supporting Macmillan as her family has been supported by the charity both when her sister died of ovarian cancer at the age of 33 and when her grandmother was treated for breast cancer.
Leanne is a very keen amateur rider but this will be her first race ride and she has been training hard ahead of the big day.
Read Leanne’s story here:
“I’m absolutely delighted to have the opportunity to ride in the Macmillan Charity Race.
“My husband and I breed thoroughbreds and my daughter works in horse racing so horses really are our lives.
“Our most successful horse to date has been Gorgeous Goblin who won four times: twice at Lingfield (including a blue square qualifier) and twice at Southwell. She was also placed on numerous occasions in 2012. She is now our first homebred broodmare with a very nice foal by Captain Gerard.
“I met Dawn Goodfellow, the chief executive of the Northern Racing College in 2014, and it was during that meeting that she told me about the Macmillan Charity Race at York.
"I lost my sister to ovarian cancer 15 years ago - she was 33 at the time. My nan also had breast cancer three times. She recovered twice but we lost her during its third occurrence.
“During her illness, Macmillan nurses came in to look after her. They were such a huge help to my mum and dad who were caring for my nan, that I’ve never forgotten what they did for the family.
“Cancer is obviously a cause very close to our hearts and my dad works as a driver locally, taking people with cancer to hospital appointments, so the Macmillan Charity Race offered me a chance to do my bit and give back to Macmillan.
“I’ve pledged to raise £5,000 for Macmillan and am doing well with over £2,500 raised so far. I have a few other sponsors in the pipelines - I think they’re waiting until I complete the race to make their donations.
“I have been riding all the time in preparation for the race, around six days per week, doing a bit of hacking and some show-jumping as well as cross-country at local level.
“York is a really iconic course for me (mum and dad live near the race course) and I couldn’t think of anywhere better to be taking part in this race.
"My husband Shaun and I, got married at York registry office in August 1994. After the reception, we went to York race's Ebor meeting, making York a very special place for us. It’s poignant to be riding there just ahead of our 21st wedding anniversary.
“The other thing that makes this so special for me is that I suffer from lupus [an autoimmune disease that causes your immune system to attack your body's own tissues].
“I was diagnosed when I was about 20 and I have been quite ill with it in the past. Luckily I have been in remission for about 12 years now but living with this condition means it is a huge achievement to be fit and active enough to continue riding.
“I feel that riding and staying active has helped me to stay so well, despite my condition. Having horses means that no matter how bad I feel, I have to keep going for them. They will need feeding and mucking out, however I feel, so they give me a reason to keep going. On bad days when my arthritis flairs up and I struggle to even hold a knife and fork or climb the stairs, looking after the horses gives me something to aim for.
“I’m really looking forward to race day. To ride in the Macmillan Charity Race with my family watching will be a dream come true for me.
“I would like to thank everyone who has supported me and donated money towards my fundraising effort.
“My fundraising page is: https://www.justgiving.com/Leanne-Humphries.”
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