AN amateur horse rider from Charlton has been selected to take part in the largest charity race day in the British racing calendar.

Nicki Strong, 29, will take on the nine-furlong flat race at York racecourse on 14 June to raise vital funds for Macmillan Cancer Support.

The event forms part of the prestigious annual Macmillan race day, which is the charity’s biggest single fundraising event.

Nicki owns two exracehorses herself and has racing in her blood, she said: “I’ve been a racing fan for years, something I inherited from my Dad, and used to spend lots of time at race meetings chasing jockeys asking for their autographs!

“Frankie Detorri was my hero growing up so now to have a chance to get in the saddle and ride on the turf myself is just the chance of a lifetime.”

Nicki works as a regional communications and PR officer for Macmillan and thought it was an ideal way to combine two things she is passionate about.

She added: “When this opportunity came up it seemed perfect for me, so I applied to York races and was very fortunate to be selected from a very competitive field of applicants – it really is a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

“Working closely with Macmillan services, every day I see first-hand how important they are to people coping with a cancer diagnosis and their families, and I know that this couldn’t happen without the people who continue to raise money. I think we can all do something to help.”

Each of the 12 jockeys are tasked with raising a minimum amount of £2,000, but Nicki is aiming to raise more. She is calling on Andover businesses to help her reach the target, and added: “It’s a huge amount to raise from individual donations alone, so I’m looking to speak to local businesses who might be able to offer corporate sponsorship.

“I’ve worked up some great proposals and packages that should see sponsors well rewarded for their support.

“It’s a great marketing opportunity as the race is shown live on national television, and in front of a crowd of around 28,000 people on the day, but importantly your support will go towards reaching the two million people battling cancer in the UK.”

If you think you can help Nicki with corporate sponsorship, please contact her directly on 07801 307066 to discuss the packages available, or to donate go to