A NORTH YORKSHIRE land agent is working hard to transform herself into a jockey after being selected to ride in a charity race at Wetherby Racecourse.

Tabitha Bentley, 25, from Ripley, near Harrogate, will take part in the British Horse Society (BHS) event on October 29. In order to qualify for the one-mile flat race, she has had to pass a fitness assessment, and commit to raising £2,500 for the BHS, which will go towards its Changing Lives Through Horses programme. It aims to improve the lives of 16-24 year olds not in education, employment or training.

Tabitha, a land agent working for North Yorkshire rural estate agency Robin Jessop, has been riding horses all her life, but is more used to showjumping than racing. She has linked up with Thirsk-based racehorse trainer David Barron, who will provide her with a horse, and is helping develop her jockey skills.

"We haven't picked a horse yet, but I'm trying to ride out three or four times a week," said Tabitha, who is also being supported by parents Claire and Philip Bentley, and personal trainer David Millea. "Basically I'm having to forget everything I knew and start from the beginning again. One thing that's been really important is increasing my upper body strength. Three or four months ago I wasn't particularly strong, but I've never really needed to be before."

To donate, see www.justgiving.com/fundraising/tabitha-bentley

For updates on her training, see @tabbytakesthebit on Instagram.