A BUSINESS owner who is taking on the “Ride of His Life” to raise funds for charity has beaten his initial target.

Karl Avison, who runs Cedarbarn Farmshop, near Pickering, with his wife, Mandy, is taking part in this year’s Macmillan Ride of their Lives on Saturday, June 15, at York Racecourse.

He was prompted to take part after his father was helped by Macmillan when he was diagnosed with a rare and aggressive brain tumour in 2006.

Karl had initially pledged to raise £10,000 but has already beaten that target, with the current total £10,335.

He said: “I am riding out at Brian Ellison’s Yard six mornings a week and have now progressed on to riding different horses to get more experience as I will not know which horse will be available until possibly a week before the race.

“I am also doing circuit training and equicizer training at Jack Berry House, along with pilates with Wendy Harding in Pickering to stretch out those tired muscles.

“I also have a couple of sessions each week with friend and personal trainer Paul Piercy in Malton, who I has been training with for more than two years in preparation to ensure I am fit enough to take on the challenge.

“Last week I passed my Jockey Test at Doncaster Jockey School which was a huge milestone and I am now preparing for his fitness test on June 7.”

Karl organised a Pop-Up Giant Pilates with Wendy Harding in the Cedarbarn Garden, followed by coffee and croissants, on Sunday, June 9, to raise more funds.

Karl’s wife, Mandy, said: “We are so proud of him; it is an incredible challenge to take on.

“He has enjoyed the training, despite the aching muscles, torn ligament, blisters and bad neck; he has put his heart and soul into it.

“We are so grateful to everybody from the Cedarbarn for their encouragement and help with all the events and particularly our daughter Chloe, who is pregnant, and general manager Alison Riley for their hard work, support and putting up with us both.

“We couldn’t have done it without them.”

For more information, go to cedarbarnfarmshop.co.uk. To sponsor Karl, go to justgiving.com/fundraising/karl-avison