Kerry, who works as a stable groom in Newmarket, joins 11 other amateur jockeys selected for the challenge which will see them race thoroughbred racehorses in front of 24,000 spectators at Macmillan’s Charity Raceday.
Kerry has fond memories of York Racecourse, she grew up visiting her grandparents in their home next to York’s Knavesmire, the Macmillan race is a chance to return to her roots and follow in the footsteps of her mum Leanne, who passed away last year, Kerry said: “Losing my mum last year was one of the main reasons I applied for ‘Ride of Their Lives’ race, because she’d done it in 2015 and had always said it was one of the best days of her life.
"She always felt that she’d missed out by not applying to racing school as a young woman, so riding at York, and for a charity that meant a lot to her, was a dream come true.
“She’d lost her sister Paula to ovarian cancer years before, and her nan had been cared for by Macmillan nurses so she knew what a lifeline Macmillan could be for anyone dealing with a cancer diagnosis.
“I want to do it for mum, as a way of honouring her memory, and for Macmillan and the great work they do.”
The race, now in its tenth year, is widely viewed as one of the most successful charity horse races in the UK.
The contest sees members of the public complete six months of intense jockey training and fundraising before racing thoroughbred horses on York’s iconic course.
Each jockey is committed to raising at least £4,000 for Macmillan Cancer Support and will add to a total of more than £1.2million raised by previous riders for people living with cancer. The first race took place in 2012.
As a stable groom for Newmarket racehorse trainer Roger Varian and a Travelling Head Girl Kerry is more accustomed to preparing and transporting racehorses rather than racing them, she is thrilled by the prospect of making her racing debut, but knows there is a long road ahead, she continues:
“We get assigned a jockey coach because racing a horse requires a different technique and level of fitness to the riding out I do every day.
"Your fitness needs to be really good to race so I’ll be going to the gym, running and cycling to give myself the best chance of passing my pre-race fitness test in May.
"It’s definitely a challenge, but it’s one I know I’ll enjoy.”
The Macmillan Charity Raceday is the oldest running charity raceday in the country, 2022 marks over 50 years of this iconic partnership, in which time over £9 million has been raised for people living with cancer.
The Macmillan ‘Ride of Their Lives’ race will be the first race of the day at Macmillan’s Charity Raceday on Saturday 11 June 2022.
Racing fans can support this fabulous day of fundraising just by attending, for further information and to book tickets visit the York Racecourse website.
You can support the twelve riders by donating via https://www.justgiving.com/campaign/macmillanraceday2022