Former jockey getting back in the saddle for charity

Chris Brownless in training.
Chris Brownless in training.

A former jockey is getting back in the saddle for charity at York Racecourse on Saturday.

Chris Brownless, 64, from Wooler, is taking part in a charity raceday for Macmillan Cancer Support and other good causes.

Chris Brownless from Wooler.

Chris Brownless from Wooler.

The finale to the day will be the Best Western Hotels & Macmillan Ride of their Lives – a huge charity horse race featuring 12 brave amateur riders.

Chris was a late substitute after an injury to another rider, only joining the group in April.

He said: “Having lost my younger brother, Malcolm, to cancer in 2015 at the age of 57, I would like to raise as much money as possible for this worthwhile charity. It is very poignant that the raceday is Malcolm’s birthday. He would have been 60.”

Chris has had a taste of riding at York before having raced, and won, on the course in the 1970’s when he was a jockey. He has worked in in the racing industry since, and is due to retire in August when he turns 65.

Chris Hughes, star of ITV2’s Love Island, is also among the group, which has raised more than £80,000, and counting, for Macmillan.

The riders have been through months of training ahead of the race, which will see them race thoroughbred horses over nine furlongs of the famous Knavesmire, in front of thousands of spectators.

Alexandra Schimmel, Macmillan event development manager, said: “Macmillan Charity Raceday is Macmillan’s single-biggest fundraising event. It’s a great day out and raises such an amazing amount of money. Donations help fund Macmillan’s vital services, which include nurses, information specialists and welfare benefits advisers, which are there to help people living with cancer.”

Macmillan Charity Raceday is a fundraising collaboration between York Racecourse and Macmillan Cancer Support.

To support the riders’ fundraising, visit