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I might be disabled soon, I can’t give up now – brave MS sufferer Olivia Kimber to make historic jockey debut

, I might be disabled soon, I can’t give up now – brave MS sufferer Olivia Kimber to make historic jockey debut

A STUNNING dancer who lives with multiple sclerosis will make history by becoming the first jockey to race with the condition at Goodwood.

Brave Olivia Kimber, 26, is ditching the stage for the saddle when she lines up in the Magnolia Cup at the July festival.

Brave and inspirational Kimber makes a living as a dance teacher – but she is swapping the stage for the saddle to make history as a jockey at Goodwood
Kimber lives with multiple sclerosis – a condition she knows could disable her in the near future
, I might be disabled soon, I can’t give up now – brave MS sufferer Olivia Kimber to make historic jockey debut
The amateur jockey has had to pass fitness tests to make sure she is up to competing
, I might be disabled soon, I can’t give up now – brave MS sufferer Olivia Kimber to make historic jockey debut
Kimber stays in incredible shape despite the difficulties her condition throws up
, I might be disabled soon, I can’t give up now – brave MS sufferer Olivia Kimber to make historic jockey debut
She is a horse lover who owns two runners… but all eyes will be on her at Goodwood

The charity race – contested last year by the likes of Frankie Dettori’s daughter Ella – pits 12 women amateur riders against each other to raise money for charity.

For Kimber though, there is another motivation as she knows her condition might limit what she can do in future.

An impressive dancer and teacher, she was diagnosed with MS – dubbed the ‘invisible disease’ – last year.

The condition can affect the brain and spinal cord and cause lifelong disability.

Not deterred, she signed up right away to take part in the Qatar Goodwood showpiece knowing full well MS could prove a serious hindrance in the gym and on horseback.

In one scary incident she had to be lifted off workout equipment after her muscles seized up completely.

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On another occasion when riding earlier this year her leg suddenly went numb as a result of MS-induced nerve damage.

She suddenly lost all her strength.

Against this backdrop it is incredible that she has found the inner strength at least to keep going.

You wouldn’t know there have been struggles, though.

One look at her Instagram and Kimber, from Portsmouth, appears to be every inch the professional rider ready to give Hollie Doyle and Rachael Blackmore a run for their money.

Indeed, raising money for charity is the ultimate aim, but even competing in the race – and just maybe winning – is a huge personal goal for Kimber.

And in doing so she will become the first female jockey with MS in history to race-ride.

, I might be disabled soon, I can’t give up now – brave MS sufferer Olivia Kimber to make historic jockey debut

Kimber looks every inch the pro jockey in training
, I might be disabled soon, I can’t give up now – brave MS sufferer Olivia Kimber to make historic jockey debut
She’s a regular at Goodwood, where punters will be cheering her on in the Magnolia Cup
, I might be disabled soon, I can’t give up now – brave MS sufferer Olivia Kimber to make historic jockey debut
Kimber has a bond with horses and knows the time is now to make her dream of race-riding a reality

She told the Telegraph: “I might not be able to physically do this again, so I’ve got to do it now while I can.

“[Being diagnosed] was a big shock for someone who’s completely fit and healthy.

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“A lot of people when they do have a diagnoses like this give up because it becomes a bit difficult to push through.

“But I can’t give up.

“For me there is a chance my symptoms could potentially disable me in the future.”

Kimber already has a foot in the racing game, buying a horse with the money from her dad’s inheritance when he sadly passed away.

Graceful Magic has recorded three career wins and lifetime earnings of more than £70,000 on the Flat for trainer Eve Johnson Houghton.

While Kanohi Breeze, a two-year-old filly, shaped with promise on just her second racecourse run when runner-up at Goodwood earlier in June.

She is used to success on the track with the horses she owns.

Now Kimber can get a taste of it all for herself – don’t bet against it.

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Donate to Olivia Kimber’s Just Giving page and check out all the action set to take place at the Qatar Goodwood Festival here.

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