TWELVE amateur jockeys have been chosen to take part in a prestigious charity horse race at York Racecourse this year - including one woman from York.

The Ernest Cooper Macmillan ‘Ride of their Lives’ race, which started in 2012, fundraises for Macmillan Cancer Support every year.

Each jockey is committed to raising at least £4,000 for Macmillan Cancer Support, since the first race 10 years ago past riders have raised over £1.2 million for people living with cancer.

Bella Brown, from York, is one of the jockeys chosen to race in the 2022 event on June 11. Bella, who is visual merchandise and marketing manager at Browns Department Store in the city, is a fifth-generation family member to work at the chain of department stores based across North Yorkshire. She was inspired to apply for the race after her mum previously took part.

York Press: Bella is the fifth generation family member to work at York’s Brown Department Store

Bella, 28, said: "I watched my mum prepare and train for the race, so I felt inspired to take on the challenge myself.

"I’ve ridden horses my entire life and racing has become a great passion of mine. I’ve been so lucky to have York Racecourse on my doorstep, in my opinion it is the greatest racecourse in the world.

“Now I get to experience the thrill of racing on my home track, in front of my loved ones for an outstanding charity.

“My objective with taking part in this race is to raise a substantial amount of money that will make a positive impact on people’s lives. Like many people, my family has been touched by cancer, my aunty passed away from cancer at a very young age, and my godfather sadly died from cancer in December. I’ll be riding in their memory and honour.”

York Press: Jane Horner, George Atkinson, Issy Saxby, Sam Brown, Michael Andrews, Bella Brown

Bella is joined by five other Yorkshire riders including George Atkinson, a farmer from Northallerton, Sam Brown, a law student from Malton, Issy Saxby from Ripon, Jane Horner, a pharmaceuticals sales manager from Easingwold and Carolyn Woods from Bedale.

Megan Hayman Tansley, from Macmillan Cancer Support, said: “It takes real dedication, bravery and perseverance to put yourself forward for this challenge and at Macmillan we’re so appreciative of these 12 amazing people.

“Macmillan 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 the riders and their supporters.”

Other riders will be travelling from as far as Northern Ireland and Ireland to take part in the race in June.

York Press: Six of the 12 riders that will be competing against each other in the race

The partnership between Macmillan Cancer Support and York Racecourse has raised over £9 million for people living with cancer over a 50-year period.

You can support the twelve riders by donating to their JustGiving pages online.