A RECORD amount of money was raised today at the Macmillan Charity Raceday.

More than 20,000 people were at Knavesmire for the Macmillan Charity Raceday, which saw 11 amateur jockeys race against each other - including Macmillan President Lady Halifax- in the Ernest Cooper Macmillan Ride of their Lives, raising more than £300,000 for the charity.

York Press:

On the track, the honours went to Charlotte Atkinson, from Ireland, riding Instant Attraction, whilst the earlier race, the £100,000 Pavers Foundation Catherine Memorial Sprint was won by Recon Mission, trained by Tony Carroll and ridden by Robert Winston.

In total, a record £640,00 was raised for the charity from today's proceedings.

York Press: Charlotte Atkinson storming to victory - photo taken by Nathan DaintyCharlotte Atkinson storming to victory - photo taken by Nathan Dainty

The long-lasting partnership between York Racecourse and Macmillan Cancer Support remains the biggest single fundraising event for Macmillan Cancer Support, which has now raised close to £9 million since its inception in 1971.

Over 200 Macmillan volunteers also helped with the fundraising events across the day in addition to the support of countless individuals and organisations with fundraising activities of auctions, raffles, fundraising lunches, and donations. From the money raised, 90 per cent goes to Macmillan Cancer Support to improve the lives of people living with cancer. The remaining 10 per cent goes to a number of charities such as York Against Cancer, St Leonard’s Hospice, Eye Cancer Moghissi Trust, Racing Welfare and the Injured Jockeys Fund.

York Press: Macmillan volunteers collect donationsMacmillan volunteers collect donations

Lynda Thomas, Chief Executive of Macmillan Cancer Support, said: “On behalf of all our Macmillan nurses, doctors, support workers, and cancer experts, I wanted to say a massive thank-you to everyone who made this year’s Macmillan Charity Raceday such a success. Macmillan Cancer Support receives no government funding and relies almost entirely on donations – we simply couldn’t help the growing number of people who need us, without the support and generosity of everyone here today. You will help ensure Macmillan can continue to be there for people living with cancer, from the moment of their diagnosis.”

Sarah Proud, Macmillan Counsellor at York Hospital, explained how the annual York Racecourse fundraiser would help Macmillan: “Just £140 could pay for a Macmillan grant to help cover a patient’s cancer treatment travel costs. While £204 could pay for a Macmillan nurse for a day, who can help patients and their families by providing essential medical, practical and emotional support. So, it’s thanks to the likes of our fantastic fundraising jockeys, not to mention the countless York racegoers, that Macmillan can help anyone impacted by cancer find their best way through.”

William Derby, York Racecourse Chief Executive and Clerk of the Course, said: “To have raised a record amount at the 49th time of asking is an amazing achievement and a tribute to everyone who has contributed to make this race day such a wonderful event. Countless individuals and organisations have been so generous with their time, involvement and support of the day from throughout the racing and Yorkshire community – it is a special day everyone associated with it can be very proud of.”

Lee Cooper, Director at Ernest Cooper Transport sponsor of the Ride of Their Lives race said: "All the riders are doing this for an amazing charity which is close to all of our hearts. Passionate individuals riding for one common goal, raising funds for Macmillan Cancer Support and Ernest Cooper is proud to be supporting Macmillan and the riders for this year’s running of the incredible Ride of Their Lives."