Emo­tional ride Abi to ride late fa­ther’s horse in race for char­ity

Gloucestershire Echo - - RACING - Melissa JONES [email protected]­plc.com

AY­OUNG woman from the Cotswolds is to ride her late fa­ther’s horse for a race in his memory.

De­ter­mined fundraiser Abi Stock was re­cently given the go-ahead to race Good Tra­di­tion, an eight-year-old geld­ing her fa­ther Chris took great pride in own­ing.

Many a time did the dual-pur­pose per­former give him a boost in his bat­tle against cancer.

And now it is Abi’s turn to add an­other chap­ter to the emo­tional story as she takes part in the Macmil­lan Ride of their Lives con­test at York on June 15.

“It’s Fa­ther’s Day the day af­ter and I think it’s just meant to be,” she said.

“I spoke to Don­ald (Mccain, trainer) and we agreed he’s a horse I would look for­ward to rid­ing, wear­ing dad’s colours.

“Good Tra­di­tion won the day af­ter he was di­ag­nosed with my brother Harry rid­ing, he’s won at Strat­ford where I worked and the last time dad went rac­ing at Perth in Au­gust.

“Pat Smullen was di­ag­nosed with the same type of cancer he had three weeks af­ter and when the horse was at Der­mot Weld’s, he won on him twice. “It all fits to­gether.” Af­ter reading sev­eral in­ter­views from Smullen, who re­tired ear­lier this month af­ter com­plet­ing his treat­ment for pan­cre­atic cancer, Abi de­cided to write to him.

She told how she hoped to raise aware­ness of the dis­ease, which can be

hard to di­ag­nose early due to its lack of symp­toms.

Pan­cre­atic cancer sur­vival rates in the UK have not changed in the last 40 years- and less than one per cent of pa­tients sur­vive it for a decade or more.

Abi was de­lighted when Smullen replied and of­fered to help with her char­ity race.

“He was very sorry for what we had been through and said he wanted to of­fer some sup­port,” she said.

“Sky­bet came on board as sponsors, so I ended up walk­ing the course at York with him, Fran Berry and Ed Cham­ber­lin on May 14.

“It was un­be­liev­able to get some ex­pert ad­vice.

“I found it came in handy when I rode Good Tra­di­tion in a race­course gal­lop with Harry on Sun­day.

“It was the best thing I could have done as part of my prepa­ra­tion.”

With the race just over three weeks away, Abi is firmly focused on her fit­ness pro­gramme and rid­ing out at Martin Keigh­ley’s yard, as well as tak­ing her fundrais­ing to­tal up to­wards £30,000.

She has one ma­jor event to go, a golf day on the greens of Lil­ley Brook near Chel­tenham, on June 3.

Every £213 do­nated could pay for a Macmil­lan nurse for a whole day, help­ing peo­ple liv­ing with cancer and their fam­i­lies re­ceive es­sen­tial med­i­cal, prac­ti­cal and emo­tional sup­port.

Abi is de­ter­mined to raise as much as she can, so fewer fam­i­lies have to go through what hers as, eight months on from her dad’s death at the age of 54.

She hopes he would be proud of what she is do­ing, as the hours tick away to her big day in York­shire.

“The sup­port has been amaz­ing,” she said.

“I’m re­ally pas­sion­ate about do­ing ev­ery­thing I can to help, hop­ing peo­ple can get di­ag­nosed sooner.

“If just one per­son can do that, it will be worth it.

“It would be amaz­ing to come home and tell dad all about York, I wish he was here to see the race. “He was loved by so many peo­ple. “Hope­fully he will be watch­ing down. The day will be emo­tional but it is all about cel­e­brat­ing his life.”

Abi Stock wull be rid­ing in a char­ity race a York in memory of her late fa­ther Chris

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