Shoreditch amateur jockey prepares for charity fundraising ride at York Racecourse
- Credit: Archant
An amateur jockey from Shoreditch is preparing for the ride of his life for charity.
Retiree Mark Tronco, 67, is among 12 members of the public chosen to take part in a fundraising ride for Macmillan Cancer Support at the iconic York Racecourse.
They'll complete six months of intense jockey training before racing thoroughbred horses in the Ernest Cooper Macmillan Ride of their Lives, in front of an expected crowd of more than 25,000 people.
The 12 riders, who have pledged to each raise at least £4,000 for the charity, will contest the last race of the day at Macmillan Charity Raceday on Saturday, June 13.
Mark, who will be the oldest rider said: "I'm taking part for my childhood friend Jack, my sister's best friend Nancy and my mother-in-law Marge, who were all taken too soon by cancer.
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"I'm also riding for my cousin Janis, who recently had cancer surgery and chemotherapy, and is currently having radiation, and who has just bought a plane ticket to fly from America to come and see me in the race.
"I'm really looking forward to the race and helping all the wonderful people at Macmillan who are supporting all those who are affected by cancer right now."
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Former director of corporate technology at a New York Investment Bank, Mark first rode a horse aged 37, which has since inspired riding trips around the world.
The annual charity race day has raised a total of £8.5 million for Macmillan since 1971, including £660,000 last year.
All money raised by the Ride of their Lives helps provide emotional, financial, medical and practical support to the growing number of people living with cancer in the UK.
Macmillan Cancer Support senior fundraising manager Jamie Davenport said: "By signing up, the riders have committed to six months of intensive training, as well as raising thousands of pounds for people affected by cancer.
"Every penny they raise goes into funding our fabulous Macmillan nurses, information and support workers and services.
"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 at diagnosis and beyond."
Visit justgiving.com/fundraising/mark-tronco1 to donate.