Posted on 14 March 2018
Equine students with champion jockey, Richard Johnson
On Friday 9 March a group of Equine students from Merrist Wood College enjoyed an eventful day at Sandown Park Racecourse where they took part in one of Racing to School’s Riders’ Programme events.
The Riders’ Programme is all about getting young people to the heart of the action: whether that’s listening to the typical day of a valet, quizzing the jockeys on their way of life or learning about the key integrity and ground-related roles around the racecourses. The day is non-stop with opportunities and offers a real insight into the many cogs that help a race day run smoothly.
Student, Amber Clifford-Brown, captured the mood of the group who thought that the day was something really special, especially the behind-the-scenes access. She said: “Seeing how everything runs has been really good because you don’t get to see that.” Talking about how the day has helped her with considering a career, she added: “I don’t know if I am brave enough to be a jockey but the other roles in the industry look really cool.”
Both of the Equine tutors from Merrist Wood College thought it was a great learning experience for both students and staff, with both admitting they didn’t know how to read a race card before the day.
The event at Sandown is one of 60 Riders’ Programme events planned for this year, all of which are aimed at encouraging young people who already ride and/or have an interest in another equine discipline, such as racing or thoroughbred breeding, as a possible career route or leisure activity.