AMATEUR jockeys experienced the thrill of horse racing at a charity fundraiser at Skipton Races on Saturday.

Two races for all comers on a variety of horses from ex racehorses to a Clydesdale took place before the start of the start of the proper racing at the annual Pendle Forest and Craven Hunt point to point fixture at Heslaker farm.

Each rider had to raise at least £250 for children's charity, Candlelighters, with several raising much more, over a flat course, with no obstacles, over a distance of about one and a half miles.

Journalist and writer Steven Wright from Silsden came third in the first race on his ex racehorse Adelphi Warrior, or Alexander as he is known at home.

Steven, 58, who is planning to write about the race in his next book, borrowed a special racing saddle and silks to look the part in the event.

Winners in the charity races were presented with their prizes by Julian Smith, who has been re-selected by the Conservatives to fight to retain his seat in next month's general election.

The event was also sponsored by the Skipton based Principle Trust Children's Charity. Mike Davies, charity trustee and chief executive of Principle Healthcare, was there to present some of the prizes.

Brian Curran, Candlelighters corporate fundraiser, thanked all the jockeys who took part and to all those who donated money during the event.

" We are grateful to everyone who supported us at Skipton Races particularly the jockeys who raised sponsorship and our volunteers who helped during the event," he said.

Following the amateur races, racing proper started, including the Tom Bannister Mixed Open Race, with the winner receiving £1,000 in prize money.

A popular winner of the Open Maiden race was David Coates, owner of Craven Country Ride at Coniston Cold.

Jane Pighills, joint master of the Pendle Forest and Craven Hunt, said it had been an enjoyable day.

"There was a lovely atmosphere and a very successful day and for the riders who had never experienced racing before, it must have been very exciting," she said.

A rider in one of the last races of the day who fell from her horse was treated at the scene and made a full recovery.