Londoner Thomas heads to the starting line for charity horse race


Thomas Drewry, 49, from Kensington, is looking forward to taking part in one of the UK’s most successful charity horse races after a 15-month delay because of the pandemic. He was selected as one of the twelve amateur riders for the Ernest Cooper Macmillan ‘Ride of Their Lives’ in December 2019 and was due to race in June 2020.

Thomas, who is a serial entrepreneur and occasional stand-up comedian, has been riding since the age of six. He is one of twelve amateur jockeys taking part in the Ernest Cooper Macmillan Ride of Their Lives horse race at York Racecourse on Friday 24 September, he said:

“After what feels like a lifetime, I cannot wait for the race to happen. As we’re getting closer I’m definitely feeling bouts of anxiety about lining up on the start line but I’m also really excited.

“I can’t wait for my two boys (they’re 13 and 10) to see their dad in jockey silks, ready to race at York.

“This is more than just a horse race; all the jockeys have committed to raising at least £3,000 for Macmillan, and I’m determined to do whatever it takes for this fabulous charity.

“I’m riding in memory of loved ones that were taken too soon by cancer. I have seen the great work of Macmillan, who have done so much to support family and friends when they needed them most, I hope I can play a small part in helping others receive the excellent care Macmillan offer.”

Thomas has raised an incredible £6,400 for Macmillan through his fundraising (but is committed to hitting his target of £10,000) and the twelve riders have collectively raised £108,000, providing vital support to people living with cancer.

Thomas and the 11 other amateur jockeys faced one final fitness challenge to ensure it was safe for them to ride thoroughbred racehorses earlier this month: the gruelling fitness tests included push ups, squats, muscle endurance, prone holds and quad bike exercises. All twelve were successful in completing the physical examination, Thomas said:

“The fitness test was intense, especially the bike part, but also great fun! Now I can’t wait for raceday!”

The Ernest Cooper Macmillan Ride of Their Lives race, which was postponed from June 2020, will take place at York Racecourse on Friday 24 September 2021. The race will coincide with the Macmillan’s flagship fundraising event Coffee Morning, which sees people come together to raise funds for people living with cancer.

Racing fans can support Thomas and the other riders on Friday 24 September by donating on their JustGiving pages here: