FOUR amateur riders from Ryedale have been selected to take part in a charity challenge at York Racecourse.

Known as the Ernest Cooper Macmillan Ride of their Lives, the challenge will see Lois Teal and Sean Quinn, from Malton, Natasha Nelson, from Sheriff Hutton, and S J Barker, from Westow, complete six months of training before racing thoroughbred horses.

Twelve riders in total have pledged to raise a minimum of £3,000 for Macmillan Cancer Support and expect to race in front of more than 25,000 people on June 13.

Louis Teal, 22, said: “I decided to take part in Macmillan’s Ride of their Lives because three years ago a little girl I teach at pony club was diagnosed with cancer.

“Since then, she has fought through it and back riding her little pony, doing her competitions. She is my inspiration.

“I would love to give something back to the people that supported her throughout her treatment.”

The Ernest Cooper Macmillan Ride of their Lives, now in its 50th year, regularly raises more than £100,000 for Macmillan; the charity race day raised a total of £660,000 for Macmillan in 2019.

Macmillan Cancer Support provides emotional, financial, medical and practical support to the growing number of people living with cancer across the region.

Jamie Davenport, from Macmillan Cancer Support, said: “Ernest Cooper Macmillan Ride of their Lives really is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and we wish these amazing people the very best of luck.

“Life is never the same after a cancer diagnosis and to mark our 50th anniversary we want to raise even more to ensure we’re there for people across Yorkshire.”

Lee Cooper, director at Ernest Cooper, said: “We are proud to be sponsoring the Ernest Cooper Macmillan Ride of their Lives for the second year running and we’re thrilled to be part of this special 50th anniversary year.

“These incredible people are doing something amazing for a great cause, the commitment cannot be underestimated.”