“I have always loved horses and used to ride out at a yard near my house in Lewisham but I never thought about horseracing as a future career. After seeing the amount of roles where I could come into contact with horses I am now excited about different options”
Harry is 15, from Sedge Hill in Lewisham, South London. He is currently studying for his GCSEs with no views of moving onto college or university. He first came into contact with Active Communities Network through a school-based session which was at the request of the school due to high amounts of anti-social behaviour outside of school hours. Growing up he spent many evenings at a local yard where he would ride and help groom the horses but due to a family move the yard was no longer accessible.
Harry visited the Little Brook equestrian yard near Lingfield Park where he finally came back in contact with the animals he loved. The small riding school gave the young people an opportunity to handle the horses, which was a first for many, and gave a real insight into the types of work available at the stable. With previous experience with horses Harry was a natural and he suddenly became a confident member of the group, even providing his peers (and leaders) with information on horses. His confidence grew throughout the day and it was great to see his peers really looking up to him for guidance. The group then moved to Lingfield Racecourse where they were greeted by the Careers In Racing team who provided information on careers and the next step to achieving them, all before having a tour of the park and seeing the horses in action on the track. They were also provided with a breakdown of the race card by local owner and horse enthusiast Bryan Agar.
Due to funds his interactions with horses were cut short but the recent visits to Lingfield and Little Brooke he has inspired him to get back into the sport he loves most. He never considered that it could be a career, it was only seen as a hobby but the Take The Reins experience has given him a new positive outlook post GCSEs. He now wants to attend the British Racing School 12 week programme with the ambition of gaining qualifications for working with racehorses.