Sharon Watt overcomes broken back and cancer to take on charity horse race at York Racecourse

York Press: ALL SET: Sharon Watt, who is to take part in the Macmillan Cancer Support charity race ALL SET: Sharon Watt, who is to take part in the Macmillan Cancer Support charity race

A WOMAN who faced cancer after breaking her back in a freak accident is taking part one of the most famous charity horse races in the country.

Sharon Watt, 47, will fulfil a lifelong ambition when she takes part in a prestigious nine furlong amateur charity horse race at York Racecourse in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support.

It will be an incredible achievement for racehorse trainer Sharon, who broke her back and had to learn to walk again after a horsebox ramp fell on her in 2000 and then overcame ovarian cancer after being diagnosed in 2005.

She is among 12 riders to be selected for the Macmillan charity race on June 14. Each has pledged at least £2,500 to the charity and last year’s dozen contributed more than £60,000 in total.

Sharon, who is based in Catterick in North Yorkshire, said: “I have to train hard – I’m running three or four times a week at the moment to lose some weight. Following my accident, I have to work twice as hard to be half as fit. I just don’t have the strength that I used to.

“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.”

A day of racing is followed by the charity race for amateurs amid a host of fundraising activity, including charity auctions and bucket collections. It is Macmillan’s largest single fundraising event, generating £380,000 for the charity in 2013 alone.

Other riders due to take part will be Peter Fahey, son of Malton trainer, Richard , who at 19 is the youngest rider, whilst Froot Atkins is nearly four decades his senior, at 56. Also with connections to the racing world isGemma Darley, daughter of former champion jockey, Kevin and Leanne Hannity, the wife of former jump jockey, Niall.

- For tickets and more information please call 01904 620911 x225 or visit www.yorkracecourse.co.uk

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