In 2010, 3 groups of youngsters from City Farms had the opportunity to attend the races for the first ever time via a partnership with The British Horseracing Authority. Follow up events have now been scheduled with two behind the scenes tours in Newmarket, the home of British Racing, on Friday 5th August and Tuesday 9th August.
London City Farms offer children and their families a rare chance to experience the countryside without having to leave London. The farms offer wide open spaces, animals and other activities, including riding lessons and volunteer programmes. Now, with the help of the BHA’s careersinracing department, members of Deen City Farm in Merton, Kentish Town City Farm in Camden and Mudchute Park & Farm on the Isle of Dogs, have been invited to look deeper behind the scenes into the racing industry.
The visits will allow over 50 children between the ages of 12-16, who last year enjoyed a day at the races, to delve deeper into the racing industry and discover some of the career opportunities available for young people, via visits to the British Racing School and the National Stud.
Living in the inner cities, many children are not able to experience horses or riding, but being a part of their local City Farm offers them this opportunity. Most City Farms are community-managed projects, working with people and animals to offer a powerful learning experience for participating children. They exist mainly in urban areas and are created in response to a lack of access to green space, combined with a desire to encourage strong community relationships and awareness of animals and farming.
Michelle Douglas, Industry Recruitment Associate at the British Horseracing Authority, said:
“We are delighted to be able to develop our relationships further with a number of London’s City Farms. The visits to the races last year really whetted the children’s appetites to find out more about horseracing – and the potential to have a career working with horses”
Simone Uncle, Activities Coordinator for Kentish Town City Farm said:
“In the current economic climate, young people are really being hit hard with lack of job opportunities and direction; the group that went racing last year were really inspired and excited by horseracing and this second trip could prove to have a very real and positive impact on their futures. We are really looking forward to it.”
Jackie Cheeseman, Equestrian Centre Manager for Mudchute Park & Farm said:
“We have 40 members in total, most of whom live on the Isle of Dogs in the centre of London, so access to horses for them is limited. The group are really excited about visiting Newmarket to view some real racehorses close up!”
Joanna Henbrey, Riding School Manager for Deen City Farm said:
“This is a great follow up day from last year and will give the group a real insight into the training that is available for people who want to work with horses after leaving school”.
This work forms part of British Horseracing’s Racing Together Community Strategy, which includes projects and initiatives that take place across the country, ranging from education schemes with school children, to partnerships with charities such as the Prince’s Trust.