Reaseheath College equine students were introduced to the varied careers offered by the horse racing industry at an event run by Cheshire Racing Hub.
A day of talks and demonstrations, held at the college’s equestrian centre, illustrated careers ranging from the riding and care of racehorses to jobs within support industries such as farriery, veterinary services, equine dentistry, physiotherapy, nutrition and racing administration. There is currently a high demand nationwide for staff in all these areas.
The event was part of Cheshire Racing Hub’s ‘Racing Through Education’ project, which is raising awareness of the careers available among the county’s secondary school pupils, college students and veterinary undergraduates.
The initiative is being led by Cheshire West and Chester Council as part of its rural regeneration strategy, which aims to create jobs and build up the rural economy. Horse racing has been identified as a key economic driver within the region.
Reaseheath College is a partner in the project and is now offering a bespoke racing module within its equine courses. Over 40 students have taken up the option this year.
Around 130 students attended the event, hearing a talk on careers in racing by Emma Cassidy, a Roving Assessor for the Northern Racing College, and enjoying a practical riding session on Reaseheath’s mechanical horse.
They were also inspired by Carrie Ford, who in 2005 was the highest placed female jockey to be placed in the Grand National. Carrie is now National Education Officer for ‘Racing to School’, an education programme which emphasises how skills in maths and science can open the door to rewarding careers in horse racing.
Jockeys from Oliver Greenall Racing in Malpas rode two racehorses in the college’s indoor arena, discussed the care of racehorses and described their careers.
The event was aimed at Level 3 Diploma in Equine students but a second event for undergraduates on Reaseheath’s equine degree programmes is planned for next Spring. Cheshire Racing Hub has run an additional informative talk at Bishop Heber High School, Malpas, followed by a visit to a racing yard for interested pupils.
The Hub is also supporting five undergraduates from the Leahurst Veterinary College of the University of Liverpool with bursaries, enabling them to take up practical placements in the industry.
Chair of Cheshire Racing Hub Kay Kent said: “It’s important that young people fully realise how many vacancies are waiting for them both locally and nationally. It was a pleasure to see so many enthusiastic, knowledgeable and committed students at Reaseheath, some of whom will go on into rewarding careers within the horse racing industry.”
‘Racing Through Education’ is part of the British Horseracing Authority’s ‘Racing Together’ scheme to raise the profile of racing nationally within communities.