Cheshire Racing Hub turns spotlight on horseracing careers

Young people are being encouraged to ‘kick on’ into a racing career thanks to a new project which turns the spotlight onto Cheshire’s thriving horseracing industry.

‘Racing Through Education’ has been launched by Cheshire Racing Hub to promote the wide choice of attractive careers available in the industry to 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, with support from partners Reaseheath College in Nantwich, the University of Liverpool and Chester Race Company.

Reaseheath College, a leader in equine education, is for the first time offering a bespoke racing module within its equine courses which has been taken up by over 40 students. The University of Liverpool, which has an international reputation for its equine veterinary and research specialisms, is encouraging future vets at the Philip Leverhulme Equine Hospital, Wirral, to look at opportunities within the industry while Chester Race Company operates Chester and Bangor-on-Dee racecourses, key venues for racegoers.

Local schools and colleges are being encouraged to promote horseracing as an exciting, but often unrecognised, career route which is available locally. The message coincides with national publicity about a critical staff shortage in the racing industry. Project co-ordinator is Sophie Keepax, a Reaseheath Higher Education equine course manager and lecturer.

Cheshire Racing Hub was formed in 2013 to promote horseracing as a career among school and college students and to encourage the growth of equine businesses and investment in Cheshire. This followed research which identified horse racing as a key economic driver within the region.

After a break in funding, the partnership has received a second grant of £13,920 from the British Horseracing Grant Scheme to continue its work with young people through ‘Racing Through Education’. The project is part of the British Horseracing Authority’s ‘Racing Together’ scheme to promote careers in racing and to raise the profile of racing nationally within communities.

Speaking at the Malpas yard of point to point trainer Oliver Greenall, where the ‘Racing Though Education’ launch was held, Chair of Cheshire Racing Hub Kay Kent said: “Horse racing is growing in economic importance to Cheshire and we are delighted to receive this second grant to highlight the careers opportunities available to young people across the county, from both rural and urban backgrounds.

“It’s important that young people fully realise just how many rewarding jobs are available, not just riding and  caring for racehorses but within the support industries such as farriery, veterinary services,  equine dentistry and physiotherapy, nutrition  and racing administration. We will be working with both local and national training providers involved with racing to ensure young people have all the information they need to take their first steps into a racing career.”

For further details on ‘Racing Through Education’ contact Sophie Keepax

Picture caption: Racing Through Education’ launches with (l-r) Sue Griffith (Work Related Co-ordinator, Bishop Heber High School); Sophie Keepax (Project Co-Ordinator); Dr Jan Birch (Higher Education Programme Leader, Reaseheath College); Dr Ellen Singer (Senior Lecturer in Equine Orthopaedics, (University of Liverpool); Jeannie Chantler (General Manager, Bangor on Dee Racecourse); Oliver Greenall (Oliver Greenall Racing); Kay Kent (Chair of Cheshire Racing Hub); Sean O’Connor (Community Engagement Manager, Racing Together); Carrie Ford (Regional Education Officer, British Horseracing Education and Standards Trust); Ellie Morris ( Rural Regeneration Programme Manager, Cheshire West and Chester Council)