Newmarket Pony Academy reaches milestone 500 beneficiaries!

The Newmarket Pony Academy hit milestone with 500 beneficiaries.

Monday 19th December 2022 marked a milestone for the NPA, when it officially supported 500 beneficiaries.

The NPA was set up when it became clear that many young people in Newmarket, a town seeping with horses and steeped in racing history, did not have affordable access to learn to ride or look after horses themselves. Set up as a community project and based at The British Racing School, the NPA uses horses and ponies to positively affect mental health and wellbeing for local children.

Working with horses gives young people the opportunity to learn new skills, work in a team and build confidence and resilience. Being able to work with 500 young people over the short period of time the NPA has been in operation is outstanding, and a testament to the hardwork and dedication of the team, led by manager Anna Sylvester.

“As the manager of the Newmarket Pony Academy, I watch the confidence and self-esteem of students grow, through contact with horses, and it is so exciting to think we have now supported 500 young people. I see them grow, exchanging nerves on day one for love, understanding and admiration of these wonderful animals and it’s amazing to hear feedback about how this experience has helped them channel their newfound resilience and self-belief back into their classrooms and everyday lives. Horses give a great deal of emotional support, helping regulate, problem solve and build trust and empathy.
The NPA after school clubs encourage young people to mix with others and create a safe space for social skills and friendships to form, giving vital respite from challenges, and becoming a positive constant in their lives. Thank you to our selfless volunteers and our sponsors as we could not do any of this important work without you.”

Anna and the team work with local schools, social services, the East Anglian Children’s Hospice, the Riding A Dream Academy and other providers who both attend the Academy for residential and week long courses as well as after school clubs and one to one sessions. The children themselves may be referred to NPA as they have Special Educational Needs, are suffering from traumas or are requiring additional support with mental health issues.

CEO of The British Racing School Andrew Braithwaite, talks about the benefits that can be earned from interaction with horses, saying “Those of us fortunate enough to work with horses on a daily basis know the positive impact they have on our lives. It is a great privilege to be able to share our horses and ponies with children from across the local community. Bringing people together to learn about caring for horses and ponies benefits not just the children who enjoy the NPA activities, but the whole town, and will help to ensure Newmarket remains a special and unique place to live.”

None of the work undertaken at NPA would be possible without the support of donors such as Tattersalls, Godolphin, West Suffolk Council, The Co-Op Community Fund, Lettergold, Orbit Housing and the Sir Peter O’Sullevan Charitable Trust, for which the NPA, BRS and the wider stakeholders are extremely grateful.

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