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Suffolk jockeys primed to compete in charity raceday after passing fitness trials

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Two jockeys from Suffolk are set to compete in a charity raceday after passing a set of challenging fitness trials.

30-year-old Kerry Humphries, from Newmarket, and 26-year-old Lucy Horan, from Bury St Edmunds, are set to make their debut in the Macmillan 'Ride of their Lives' charity race on June 11.

Mrs Humphries works as a stable groom, and Mrs Horan as an equestrian insurance broker - but neither has rode professionally before.

Kerry Humphries (left) and Lucy Horan (right) are set to compete in the Macmillan 'Ride of their Lives'.
Kerry Humphries (left) and Lucy Horan (right) are set to compete in the Macmillan 'Ride of their Lives'.

The Macmillan event is to be staged at York Racecourse.

Regarded as one of the most prestigious charity races of its kind, it raises money for Macmillan Cancer Support.

The 51st annual event is expected to draw a crowd of 25,000 people.

Mrs Humphries' mother, Leanne Humphries, competed in a previous edition of the Macmillan raceday in 2015.

10 riders from across the UK - including the Suffolk challengers - passed fitness trials at Jack Berry House in Malton.

This involved a number of physical exercises, including squats, push-ups and quad bike workouts.

Mrs Humphries said: "It's so nice to get the fitness test out of the way.

"I was nervous but I knew I was prepared and it went better than I expected, it was much easier than I thought it would be in the end.

"It means so much to be to be riding Gorgeous General, a horse bred and trained by my mum and dad.

"We were there when he was born and he meant so much to my mum, so it means the world to me to ride him at York Racecourse.

"I know raceday will be an emotional day but before the race I'll be focussed on what I need to do.

"I've found the past few weeks hard because all I've wanted to do is ring my mum and ask for her advice.

"I'm incredibly excited and I really appreciate this opportunity to follow in mum’s footsteps."

Over a six-month period, competitors in the race have raised a total of £55,000 for Macmillan.

They had each pledged to raise at least £4,000.

Speaking on her own experience with the trials, Mrs Horan said: "I've been riding horses my whole life but have never ridden in a race before, so I'll be living out a lifelong ambition when raceday comes.

"The 'Ride of Their Lives' challenge has been hard because it’s not easy to fit in fundraising and training with a busy job.

"This aspect of it has been much harder than I anticipated and although the fundraising hasn't been easy, there's been so much goodwill for Macmillan and people have been incredibly generous.

"It's been great to meet the other amateur jockeys, who come from all over the country, from many different walks of life and with diverse motivations for raising money for Macmillan.

"I'm super excited. I know the lead-up and the day itself will whizz by, but I'm determined to take time to stop and breathe it all in."

To learn more about the race, and donate to Macmillan, visit its JustGiving page.