The Newmarket Pony Academy, at the British Racing School, is a new community project designed to use horses and ponies to positively effect mental health and wellbeing for the children in Newmarket. Newmarket, despite being the headquarters of racing, does not offer affordable access to children to learn, ride or look after these animals. These children see horses around Newmarket town and surrounding areas every day and the Newmarket Pony Academy is going to give them that chance.
The Newmarket Pony academy has been designed to give young people the opportunity learn new skills such as team work, confidence and resilience. They will have the chance to learn about the animal and also the hard work and dedication it takes to look after them. They will benefit enormously from developing life skills from this unique experience.
The Newmarket Pony Academy is hosting a five day primary school program, designed to mix equine care with core subjects and team building activities embedded into this diverse learning experience. The courses will build on the curriculum and work on key skills, such as confidence, resilience and overall engagement in learning, through delivering practical and theory lessons to the students.
Further to this we will be running breakfast, afterschool and holiday clubs for local young people who are have been referred to the project by teachers and social workers. It is hoped that ongoing engagement with the NPA will give these young people a positive constant. We really believe in the social and mental health benefits from this type of learning and are incredibly excited to empower these young people.
This course has allowed us to take the project further and secure the initial funding. Since the course here these students have been able to make more long lasting friendships, use their experience to overcome obstacles and their growth in confidence back in school has been ground breaking. These students have come up with incredible ideas and been so valuable to this project we have renamed them our Pony Academy Pioneers and you will see some of their artwork up on the walls of our new classroom.
In branding this new enterprise the NPA wanted to bring our idea to the community.
We have been lucky enough to work with an inspirational young lady, Maryum Jadoon, who has linked up with us to create our new logo. After seeing an initial sketch, Maryum has created 4 fabulous logos which we took to local Newmarket primary school St Louis Catholic Academy who voted for their favourite.
We are very grateful to Newmarket Academy, Maryum, St Louis Catholic Academy and to all those who have been instrumental to get this community project off the ground. We hope to continue to enhance these relationships, embed ourselves within this community and continue to celebrate inspirational young people of Newmarket.
The Newmarket Pony Academy uses horses and ponies to nurture young people, build their confidence, develop their aspirations and enable them to achieve.
Passion- to promote positivity and working with others to improve key skills such as confidence, resilience and enthusiasm in young people.
Respect – Everyone deserves equal respect and to be treated fairly and justly. This includes young people, staff, volunteers and the horses and ponies.
Promoting diversity- to respect the differences in people and acknowledge how those differences improves society. We can all learn from each other and work together to achieve our common goals.
Honesty- To promote honesty and integrity in all members of the NPA.
Welfare comes first- Emotional and physical wellbeing is our priority here at the NPA. This includes staff, volunteers, children or young people and the horses.
Cultivate A Love for Education- the NPA strives to encourage learning and positivity for young people.
Promote Core Values; democracy, individual liberty mutual respect and tolerance of different faiths and beliefs. We promote these values through all NPA activities.
Volunteers play a crucial role in helping achieve our mission and we could not meet our aims without their hard work. We are incredibly grateful for the support of our volunteers and want to make sure all parties have a safe, rewarding and enjoyable experience. The Volunteer Policy recognises the significant and valuable roles volunteers play in supporting these young people throughout their time at the Newmarket Pony Academy.
We are looking to recruit a team of reliable volunteers who have a passion for helping young people learn and develop as individuals.
Volunteers must have:
Work well within a team
Interact confidently with people from a wide range of backgrounds.
Previous experience with horses is important for the role
Experience with young people is desirable.
We are so grateful to those who are willing to give up their own time to this project. Training can be given to an individual with the right attitude as well as help to develop their own personal skills.
All volunteers will receive a full induction and will need to be DBS checked due to the nature of the role. For more information please see the video of our pilot week
The Newmarket Pony Academy has contacted all local schools. It is down to the individual schools to choose to participate and choose the pupils who they think this program will help the most.
All children, at this stage, eligible for the clubs have been referred by child services or the schools itself.
Yes we have a selection of quiet horses and ponies suited to all types of rider. Riding is not a required element of the course and no child would be forced to ride but will encourage children to have a go.
We ask pupils to come in weather appropriate outdoor active wear. Riding boots, Hats and body protectors will be provided.
Pupils will need a packed lunch. For those who have free school meals the school should provide a packed lunch for those pupils. If there are any issues with that the school can ask us to make some provisions.
You will need to come to school as normal on the morning of your course. The NPA minibus will do pick ups and drop offs from your school within the hours of a normal school day.
The primary schools program will be a mix of equine care with core curriculum and team building exercises embedded. The aim is to improve key skills such as confidence, resilience and confidence. You will learn how to muck out, tack up, about rugs and feeding and learn to ride and lead. You will engage and work together on various activities and have loads of hands on fun on our very diverse learning experience.
We hope you will take away a new found sense of confidence and passion. You will have new knowledge and new practical skills. You will work towards certificates throughout the week to reward your new skills. We hope you will make closer bonds with your classmates and learnt how to encourage and communicate with another and always remember your experience here at the Newmarket Pony Academy.
This week we have a program packed full of diverse practical and theory lessons, combining equine care and current curriculum, we have designed our program to enhance core skills working on building confidence, communication, team work and engagement.
The Sir Peter O’Sullevan CT, Godolphin, Mrs J Budd, Cheveley Park, West Suffolk Council, The Jockey Club Estates, Tattersalls, and Orbit Housing.
Your financial support is instrumental and we cannot thank you enough for your generosity.
We are thrilled to announce that 7 time champion jockey John Francome came in to meet all the children and has agreed to be an ambassador for the project. He said:
‘This is a great initiative and they should have done it years ago. I’ve seen this in the past with Riding For The Disabled where people suddenly understand what confidence a horse can give them. These children here today, many of whom have come from underprivileged backgrounds, have finally found something that is not going to keep asking them questions or demanding anything of them’
‘Thank you for the incredible opportunity that you provided the children with this week. I was somewhat surprised to receive a group of sobbing children back this afternoon. They told me that they were sad to end the ‘Best week of their lives- ever.’ Over the week we’ve witnessed them growing in confidence and becoming more independent and determined. It is a privilege to be part of this amazing project that I am sure will become nationally recognised as an exemplar going forward.’
‘Fantastic week. It’s been great to see the children’s confidence grow.’
‘Thank you for the most amazing day. Staff so friendly and attentive to our group. Feel privileged to have been part of such an amazing experience’.