The Newmarket Pony Academy, based permanently at the British Racing School, had an exciting week away at Epsom Downs Racecourse, where they were supporting the Riding A Dream Academy in their first Regional Week.
Ten students from Harris Academy Peckham, in South London, have become the first to take part in the regional week which was hosted by Epsom Downs Racecourse, home to the world-famous Derby.
The Regional Week is being rolled out thanks to funding from The Racing Foundation and is an extension to the Riding A Dream Academy’s existing programmes, many of which take place at BRS. The Regional Week is designed to broaden access to horses and the racing world by taking the Academy out to communities and schools and is aimed at young people aged 14-18. The Newmarket Pony Academy ponies are being used for these Regional Weeks and we are delighted to once again be working alongside the Riding A Dream Academy team.
During the week, the Year 10 students, none of whom had any experience of racing or working with horses, had the chance to ride for the first time and look after five horses from the Newmarket Pony Academy at BRS.
Charlotte Evans, Assistant Principal at Harris Academy Peckham said, “Our students have had a spectacular week at Epsom racecourse as part of the Riding A Dream Academy. It has been truly wonderful to see their confidence grow; see them step out of their comfort zone; and take part with them on a journey which has ultimately broadened their horizons. The beauty, majesty and therapeutic impact of horses is something so often not experienced when living in an inner city, and we are so very pleased that we have been able to expand our students’ experiences through the people they met this week, the places they were able to visit and experience that will stay with them for a lifetime. We have all been made to feel very welcome and I hope this is a programme that we will continue to be able to offer our students in the future.”
Khadijah Mellah, in whose name the Academy was set up after she became the first British Muslim woman to win a UK horse race said, “It has been amazing to have Harris Academy Peckham with us for our first ever Riding A Dream Academy Regional Week. Peckham is where I grew up so I am so pleased that a school from my neighbourhood has been the first to take part in this new initiative for the Academy. It has been great to see the students bond with the horses and find out that, no matter where you come from, there is a place for everyone within racing.”