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Photo gallery: Big comeback beckons for 61-year-old rider Frances and horse Rocky

11:36 16 May 2014

Frances Shipley with her horse Rocky who will take part in the charity flat race at Fakenham Racecourse on Sunday. Picture: Matthew Usher.

Frances Shipley with her horse Rocky who will take part in the charity flat race at Fakenham Racecourse on Sunday. Picture: Matthew Usher.

© Archant Norfolk 2014

He might not be an Italian Stallion but just like his big screen namesake, this four-legged fighter is coming out of retirement for one last taste of glory.

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Racing horse Rockfield, who is better known as Rocky, and his owner Frances Shipley are coming out of retirement this weekend to help make the lives of cancer patients a little bit brighter.

The pair will take to the start line at the charity flat race at the West Norfolk meeting at Fakenham Racecourse on Sunday.

Mrs Shipley, 61, from North Elmham, has not raced for 41 years herself and it will be retired Rocky’s first race in three years.

They will race in aid of the Sunshine Ladies, a charity which raises funds to buy equipment for the cancer unit at the Norfolk and Norfolk University Hospital.

Mrs Shipley, who helps out at Get Smart in Fakenham and whose daughter Remy Powell will also take part in the race with her horse Tec, said: “It will be fun - obviously there’s a slight element of ‘oh, gosh, what have I let myself in for?’ but it will be fun.”

She added: “The Sunshine Ladies is a really worthwhile cause because although the unit up at the Norfolk and Norwich does amazing things, the Sunshine Ladies make the treatment a little bit nicer by providing things like mirrors and hairdryers, things that can’t be provided by the NHS.

“While I will have three minutes of going fast and being slightly scared, it’s nothing compared to what those girls at the cancer unit are going through.”

To donate, send cheques payable to Sunshine Ladies, c/o Ann Bush, Holly Farm, Wendling, NR19 2NH or pop into Get Smart, Bridge Street, Fakenham.

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