A HORSE riding event has raised as much as £10,000 for the Yorkshire Air Ambulance.

Organisers of a point-to-point race that took place near Sheriff Hutton say they raised £6,000 for charity last year, and this year’s takings have certainly beaten that.

Organiser Christine Shipley said the money was raised by charging a £10 entry fee, which more than 2,000 people paid, and by securing sponsorship from local companies.

Further cash was raised by selling food and drink.

She said: “Ours is the first point-to-point of the year in the Yorkshire area, so we always get a good turn- out.

“For those that aren’t aware of it, point-to-point is amateur steeple- chasing, racing the horses over fences.

“The horses have to have hunted at least four times before they can take part in a point-to-point.”

She said the organisers decided to give the money to the air ambulance because horse riders knew they might one day need it.

She said: “We decided to give the proceeds to the air ambulance because it’s a charity that a lot of horse people are very keen on.

“If you are out riding and you are injured, it can often be in places where it would be difficult for a vehicle to get to you, and then you would rely on the air ambulance to get you out safely.”

Cherry Coward, who helped out at the event, said that what made the event special was the number of people who contributed.

She said: “I looked after seven runners on the day, and I also bought the meat. I think our success was down to the fact that everyone had a different job.”

Cherry said she was especially proud of her daughter, Jacqueline, who came second in two races, and youngster Jake Greenall, who came first in the first race, because she trained his horse.

She said: “The air ambulance is a very good cause, particularly for people who ride horses.

“If you have an accident, chances are you will have a proper one, and the air ambulance is life-saving.”

The organisers expect to have a final race total later this month.