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Time for Sarah to handover IJF role after nearly a decade.

Byline: Tom O'Ryan

SARAH York, who has done such sterling work for the Injured Jockeys' Fund throughout the last decade, is preparing to pass on her baton.

Helen Fairburn will take over her role as one of the IJF's two northern almoners - Elaine Wiles is the other - when Sarah stands down early next month.

"I have done the job for nine years, having previously shadowed Hilary Kerr for a year, and I can honestly say that I wouldn't have missed the chance for the world," she says.

"It has been hugely satisfying and I have met some of the bravest and most incredible people; inspirational people who make you feel very small."

A well-known owner, breeder and steward in the north, York has some 60 beneficiaries on her books, and is delighted at the choice of her successor. "I am really happy to be handing over to Helen, because I feel she will do a wonderful job," she adds.

Fairburn, 35, who has been living in Cheshire, is currently looking for a house in the Thirsk-Richmond area to make her more accessible.

"I'm very pleased to have got the job and I'm really looking forward to it," says the racing enthusiast. "I have worked on racecourses, doing the PASS system for owners and trainers for a number of years, and have also done quite a lot of eventing, hunting and

point-to-pointing."

Sarah York, incidentally, had something to celebrate recently, as the breeder of the Paul Webber-trained Buckby Lane, winner of Cheltenham's Future Champions Novices' Chase at Cheltenham.

"I have got a full-sister to him in-foal to Alflora, a

four-year-old by Minster Son in training with Tim Walford, and a yearling out of the dam by Moscow Society," says Sarah, whose main racing dream remains "to have a runner on the Thursday of the Cheltenham Festival".

At least in future she will have more time to pursue her passion.

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Sarah York Stepping down next month
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Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Date:Dec 22, 2003
Words:326
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