Racing Foundation focuses on education and training through its latest grant awards 

19 Apr 2016

The Racing Foundation 2

Following the first open funding round of 2016, Trustees of the Racing Foundation are delighted to announce that 10 new grants totalling more than £400,000 have been pledged, with significant focus on education and training for the industry’s participants.

Included in these is a pledge for a capital grant towards the development of a new training facility at Askham Bryan College to help address the current staff shortage in racing and inspire more young people to pursue careers within the industry.

The ‘Racing Stream’ initiative will see the development of a purpose-built racing yard at the College’s York campus, along with the delivery of a range of equine and racing-related courses, at all levels, for 150 full-time and 350 part-time students. In addition to potentially providing the industry with 80 new stud and stable staff each year, it will also run courses for racing secretaries, point-to-point jockeys, pony racing, sports turf management, veterinary nurses specialising in racehorse care and taster sessions for youngsters looking to get into racing.

The College is investing a significant level of its own funds to set up the Racing Stream and has a strong reputation for delivering successful courses. It is also able to access high levels of Government funding due to its status as a designated specialist land-based college.

The establishment of the new training facility has industry-wide support and is endorsed by the BHA, NTF, NASS, Pony Racing Authority, Point-to-Point Association and local racecourses. The work of Askham Bryan College will complement the work of the Northern Racing College in Doncaster and the British Racing School in Newmarket, and collaborative arrangements are also being explored.

In further support of education and training the Racing Foundation also awarded a grant to the Thoroughbred Breeders’ Association to fund a 2-day careers course for 18-35 year olds. Run by the TBA’s newly launched Thoroughbred Club, the course will highlight the wide range of jobs and training opportunities available within the racing and breeding industry in an attempt to attract new recruits.

The deadline for applications in the next funding round of 2016 is Friday 6th May and information on how to apply can be found at

Rob Hezel, Chief Executive of the Racing Foundation said:

“We are delighted to be supporting this initiative and welcome the additional training capacity it will provide for the horseracing industry. The Racing Stream will complement the existing provision at the British Racing School in Newmarket and the Northern Racing College in Doncaster, and ensure a comprehensive range of training opportunities for those interested in working in racing.”

Carole Goldsmith, Director of People and Development at the BHA said:

“We are keen to develop additional routes for racing industry entrants and have identified the need to better engage with young people who have shown a committed interest in equestrianism but who have not historically pursued careers in racing. Forming an alliance with agricultural colleges is a logical step forward and Askham Bryan will provide the industry with an additional training facility which, each year, will create hands-on racing expertise for 80 well-trained stud and stable staff as well as for a variety of other qualified personnel.”

Liz Philip, Executive Principal of Askham Bryan College said:

“This is exciting and extremely significant, not only for those with the dream of a career in racing but for UK racing as a whole. It is hugely encouraging that our vision has been recognised so enthusiastically by the industry and beyond. The opportunities for young people are enormous – the Askham Bryan College Racing Stream will provide the skills and training needed to get that first foot on the racing ladder.

“We are perfectly placed to help respond to the skills shortages reported by the BHA, as not only is Yorkshire renowned for first class racing, but our York campus is ideally situated between Malton and Middleham, the two main centres of racehorse training in the North.  In addition, we already have strong links with industry, our equine courses are thriving, and we are the only UK college to have a point to point course on campus.”

For more information please contact:

Tansy Challis
Grants Manager
The Racing Foundation

07709 954620
[email protected]

Notes to Editors:

1. The Racing Foundation was established in January 2012 to oversee the distribution of funds to charitable causes within racing following the sale of the Tote. The British Horseracing Authority, the Horsemen’s Group and Racecourse Association are the three joint Members of the charity, which is registered with the Charity Commission as a charity under the law of England and Wales (no. 1145297)

2. The Trustees of the Racing Foundation are Sir Ian Good (Chairman), Ian Barlow, Jane Keir, Kirsten Rausing and William Rucker. Since inception, the Racing Foundation has granted just under £4.4million and pledged a further £2.1million to charities associated with the horseracing and Thoroughbred breeding industry in the UK, supporting work in social welfare, education, training and participation, horse welfare, equine science research, and heritage and culture.

3. In its latest funding round, the Racing Foundation pledged 10 new grants totalling just over £400,000 and in addition to the grants pledged to Askham Bryan College and the TBA, grants were also pledged for:

  • The Racing Centre in Newmarket to part-fund a Community Liaison Officer in collaboration with Racing Welfare.
  • Organisational development grants to New Beginnings and the Racehorse Rescue Centre to help establish a long-term, sustainable growth strategy.
  • Emergency funding to help the Racehorse Rescue Centre complete its outdoor school after being severely affected by flooding.
  • The development of a Racing Partnership with the Pony Club to educate its members about horseracing and career opportunities.
  • Joint-funding a study into gender diversity within racing, in collaboration with Oxford Brookes University and Women In Racing.
  • Support for the delivery of the ‘Riders Programme’ by Racing to School.
  • A charity placement for a student on the BHA Graduate Programme.

Further information on grant programmes is available on the Racing Foundation website: The Racing Foundation is also on Twitter: @RFoundation01 and posts grant alerts as well as updates on the work of racing charities and projects it supports.

4.  Askham Bryan College is the largest and fastest growing agricultural and horticultural college in the UK with 3,900 students and 11 sites across Northern England. It offers full and part-time further and higher education courses, which include agriculture, horticulture, forestry and arboriculture, countryside management, game-keeping, sport, engineering, equine and animal management. The College’s main campus is in York plus there are 10 sites of varying sizes at Guisborough, Hexham, Leeds, Middlesbrough, Newcastle, Saltaire, Scarborough, Thirsk, Wakefield, and Newton Rigg College at Penrith.

In September 2013, the College announced a £34 million campus development at its York site. The scheme includes building a new Wildlife Park and Conservation Centre, equine facilities, student residential accommodation and a dedicated Higher Education Teaching Centre. It is estimated numbers will increase at the York campus from the current figure of 2,939 students, to around 4,500 in the academic year 2017/18. For more information see:

5. The Thoroughbred Club has been fashioned through the merger of the Next Generation Club and the Thoroughbred Breeders’ Association’s 18 – 35 Membership tier to create one streamlined club. It is open to all those who have an interest in horseracing, from the spectator, to stud and stable staff, as well as anyone working in areas of the industry that do not often spring to mind, such as administrative staff, marketing teams, the transporters, vets and insurers, to name but a few. The Thoroughbred Club is a network and community of 16 to 30-year-olds who share a common passion for the sport and the thoroughbred, who wish to gain an in-depth insight into the breeding and racing industry and further their knowledge of the sport. For more information see:

6. The British Horseracing Authority is the governing and regulatory body for the sport of thoroughbred horseracing in Great Britain. Its responsibilities include improving the profile of British Racing as an employer and career of choice, and understanding the recruitment requirements of the industry. BHA works closely with careers advisors, the racing schools, private training providers, equine colleges and other training providers to ensure that there are a wide range of entry points for people interested in pursuing a career in the industry.