Black History Month is here, and it is an ideal time to reflect on the importance of diversity in horse racing, something the team at The British Racing School strive for on an ongoing basis. The BRS is committed to fostering an inclusive and diverse environment within the horseracing industry, recognising the invaluable contributions of black individuals to the sport’s future, and creating pathways and opportunities for them to become involved.
At BRS, we celebrate the fact we welcome more students onto our courses from black and other ethnic backgrounds each year. The School has implemented several projects to proactively engage young people from more diverse backgrounds to fall in love with horses and consider a career in racing, something they may previously have thought unavailable to them.
This year’s flagship projects included a targeted marketing initiative supported by British Equestrian to engage and recruit more young people from underrepresented backgrounds and our successful pilot of ‘Gerald Leigh Racing Experience Weeks’, a week-long residential taster week for those with little or no equine experience. Whilst we celebrate these successes, we know there is always more we can do to break down barriers to the sport and will continue to do so.
The Riding A Dream Academy, who are primarily based at the British Racing School, have recently released their Annual Review, which reports on how the project connects underserved and minority communities with the opportunities in British horseracing. They have been doing phenomenal work and we are thrilled to see so many new students taking part in their courses, some of whom have already progressed onto, and completed, Foundation Courses at the BRS and who have continued to thrive in their horse racing career.
BRS is committed to showcasing the accomplishments of black figures in the horse racing world throughout history. Highlighting their contributions will inspire future generations and promote inclusivity and we shall be sharing some profiles across our social media channels this month of people who have inspired, led and forced positive change. In particular, we will be following the theme of Black History Month 2023 and ‘Celebrating our Sisters,’ both past and present and who are the future of our industry.
The British Racing School is actively working to make horseracing more diverse and ensuring that opportunities are accessible to everyone, regardless of their background and we look forward to seeing the positive impact that our initiatives will have on the future of the sport.