Photo credit: Craig Chaplin

Leanne Humphries (pictured above) from Doncaster rode in this year’s Macmillan charity race. She says: 

“Race day was absolutely amazing - I’m still on such a high from the whole experience!

 “It was touch and go for a while whether I would make it to the start line because, five weeks before the race, I fell off another horse and suffered a number of injuries including re-breaking a rib that I had broken in the past. I was totally out of training for about two-and-a-half weeks and only got back in the saddle just over two weeks before race day. The first time I got back on a horse was agony, but every day it improved and I was fit again just in time for race day.

 “My horse for the race was Layla’s King. He was kindly loaned to me by Norcroft Park Stud because he was a good ride. Although prior to the race he had been retired for two years in the field. He essentially came out of retirement for the race and it was such an honour to ride him.

 “He is such a wonderful horse. He only came out of retirement three months before the race and other than the time when I was injured, I rode him most mornings. The other horses in the charity race were much fitter, most were still fully in training, but I was so pleased to be riding Layla’s King because he is such a lovely horse. 

“On the day of the race, I was supported by about 20 relatives and friends who turned out to enjoy the day and cheer me on. It was great to have this level of support and encouragement.

 “When it came to the race I was so excited. My main aim was to get both me and Layla’s King around the course safely. I think the audience didn’t have high expectations of Layla’s King because he had only just come out of retirement so everybody was surprised to see us up front the whole way round! Although we didn’t win the race, we held on to that position to come fifth out of 12. I was absolutely delighted with that. We both had such a strong race.  

“The atmosphere on the day was just incredible. My parents live very close to York race course so after the race we all went back to their house for a party in the garden to celebrate. I was just ecstatic to have achieved my ambition of riding in a race and it was wonderful to do that with all my friends and family around me. 

“I would like to thank everybody who has supported me throughout this experience, especially my husband, Shaun, who has put up with a lot from me over the past six months! Without his support I wouldn’t have been able to take on this amazing challenge for Macmillan.

“I am still fundraising for Macmillan as I pledged to raise £5,000 from this event. I am doing well but won’t stop until I reach that £5,000 goal. It’s even more poignant now as my lovely next door neighbour has just been diagnosed with terminal bone cancer. She is being supported by Macmillan and it just brings home why we’re fundraising through this event, and the difference that the money raised can make to people’s lives.”

Leanne’s fundraising page is: https://www.justgiving.com/Leanne-Humphries