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Pickering farmer to make charity horse race history

North Yorkshire beef farmer to make charity horse race history


A Pickering beef farmer and farm shop owner will make history when he competes in a charity horse race for a second time later this year.


Karl Avison, 60, from Cedarbarn Farm Shop and Café will make history when he takes part in the Macmillan Charity Raceday at York Racecourse on 15thJune and becomes the first person to compete in the Ride of Their Lives for a second time.


Mr Avison is one of 12 amateur riders who will compete in the nine-furlong race around the iconic Knavesmire course for the first race of the Macmillan Charity Raceday that has raised over £10 million since it started in 1971.


He first competed in this prestigious and challenging race in 2019, when he raised over £20,000 in memory of his father, Colin Avison who passed away in 2006 from a rare and aggressive brain tumour. This time, he plans to raise even more money, £25,000, to celebrate his own recovery from Prostate Cancer last year.


"The 2019 Ride of Their Lives was the most exhilarating and exciting experience of my life, so to have the opportunity to repeat it and raise even more money for Macmillan Cancer Support will be a great way to celebrate being clear of cancer," Mr Avison said.


"Having cancer changed my thoughts on life. I would like to give back the life that I have quite literally been given and the ride is the perfect way to do it. I don't underestimate the challenge ahead, but having experienced cancer first-hand has made me even more determined to succeed and to raise money to support Macmillan's great work."


Megan Hayman-Tansley, Regional Fundraising Manager at Macmillan Cancer Support, said: "We're so grateful that Karl will take part in this year's Ride of their Lives. It takes a lot of courage and dedication to sign up for a challenge of this magnitude so to do it for the second time is incredible. We can't wait to work with Karl to raise as much money as possible for people living with and affected by cancer.


"The money raised helps us invest in initiatives like our £4.5m Macmillan Workforce Development Programme, which works with 20 NHS Trusts across Yorkshire and the North East to train nurses so they have the skills to become Cancer Nurse Specialists in the future. With more specialist nurses in the cancer workforce, we can ensure people facing a diagnosis have access the dedicated clinical support they need."


The team at Cedarbarn will be hosting a programme of fundraising events, including a Family Fun Day, a Gin Tasting Evening, Pop Up Pilates, a Race Night, a Quiz Night and a Gala Dinner. You can also donate to Karl's Just Giving Account here: 


Cedarbarn Farm Shop and Café began as a small PYO strawberries operation from acaravan 27 years ago andnow is a thriving farm shop and café. Mr Avison has a herd of Aberdeen Angus cattle that he rears for the farm shop.


York Racecourse and Macmillan Cancer Support continue to work in partnership to present the biggest charity raceday in the UK and raise vital funds for people living with cancer. 





  1. Karl Avison will compete in the 2024 Ride of Their Lives Karl Avison 2024
  2. Karl Avison riding out ahead of the 2019 Ride of Their Lives Karl Avison 2019

For more information or to arrange an interview withKarl Avison,please contact Tracey Baty at three60 marketing on:


Direct line:01430 871360

Mobile:07971 961574



Notes to editors