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Market Weighton Nan to Ride in York Racecourse Charity Day

York Racecourse

1:17pm 12th June 2014

Fifty-six year old Froot Atkins from Goodmanham near Market Weighton is due to compete in the Macmillan Charity Race at York on June 14, despite the fact that until this January she had never even sat on a race horse!

Froot, a primary school teaching assistant with three children and a grandchild, was inspired by watching the 1m 1f race last year and decided to don her breeches and join 11 other amateurs competing in this year’s race.  She has been supported by a number of local businesses, including Yorkshire-based motor retailer JCT600.

“I’ve ridden all my life, mainly eventing and hunting, but riding a race horse is completely different.  I also have the dubious honour of being the oldest rider in the race,” says Froot.  “When I watched a friend competing in last year’s event, I was truly inspired and wanted the challenge of learning to flat race, not least because the event is in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support which has been a great support to our family.

“I’ve been fortunate to be helped by one of Yorkshire’s great horsewomen and trainers, ex-jockey Ruth Carr of Mowbray House, Stillington, and over the last five months I’ve probably ridden over 25 of the race horses in the yard.  I’ve now upped my training from three to five mornings a week as the race approaches and we’ve narrowed down the choice of the horse I’ll ride on the big day to one of three.”

Froot continues: “Not only has the training been a fantastic experience, but I’ve also received phenomenal support from my family, friends and local businesses.  I’m well on the way to reaching my £10,000 fundraising target, currently we’re at about £8,000 and it’s now difficult to find a space on my racing breeches that doesn’t feature a company logo!”

Key sponsors include JCT600, HiLife, The Ice Co, Gladstone Jewellers, Sessions Spa, Garrie Lazenby Farrier and Hensall Mechanical Services Ltd.

“We were pleased when JCT600 offered its support and it’s particularly appropriate as we’ve recently become customers - my husband, Mick who’s one of the Official Photographer’s for York Racecourse, bought me a brand new UP! from the dealership a few weeks ago as a surprise to help me to travel to the gallops and back.”

Simon Barrass, finance and insurance director of JCT600, comments: “As a racing enthusiast, I can appreciate the scale of the challenge that Froot has taken on and we’re happy to be supporting her, particularly as she’s raising funds for such a valuable charity.”

Froot concludes: “With the race just around the corner, I’m really excited and looking forward to showing that all the hard work was worth it.  Many thanks to everyone who’s supported me and it’s not too late to make a donation!”

To sponsor Froot, visit www.justgiving.com/Froot-Atkins1

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