AMATEUR jockeys have received expert training ahead of a charity horse race in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support.

Ten of the 12 riders taking part gathered at York Racecourse where they were met by former champion jockey Kevin Darley.

Before walking the prestigious course, where they will be racing in front of more than 20,000 people, the jockeys were given a behind the scenes tour by Kevin and a turn on the Equisizer – a mechanical horse ideal for training.

The jockeys have all pledged to raise at least £2,500 for Macmillan to take part in the race, the last of the day at Macmillan Charity Raceday on June 14.

Among the riders is North Yorkshire woman Sharon Watt, 47, who was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2005, five years after breaking her back when a horsebox ramp collapsed on top of her.

Her injuries caused by the accident left her wheelchair-bound for six months but, after extensive rehabilitation, she has recovered to walk again.

She said: “I’m extremely competitive and I would be lying if I said I didn’t want to win. I’ve always wanted to race. It’s going to be an incredible experience to do so in front of a big crowd at York and it’s all for such a good cause too.”