While some teenagers are packing up for university, one local youngster is looking to forge a different path thanks to an innovative course run by the Newmarket-based British Racing School.
Sixteen-year-old Jack Garrity from Nawton, near Helmsley is the son of former Cheltenham Festival-winning jockey Russ and is currently undertaking the College’s four week foundation course designed to prepare him for a future in racing, and he will be following in some illustrious footsteps with racing greats such as two-time British Champion flat jockey, Paul Hanagan, also being an alumnus of the course.
Jack is currently working at Andrew Balding’s prestigious yard in Berkshire but he earned his stripes and gained valuable experience riding out for local trainers Tim Easterby and David O’Meara. He has now embarked on the college’s intensive course to help him on his path to following in his father’s footsteps and gaining his jockey’s license.
The course takes the students through the full gamut of skills they’ll need to make it in the racing world and Jack is in no doubt about the course’s value. He said, “It’s definitely helped me on the horse care side of things – how to look for signs of the horse’s health, medication, how often they need shoeing. Even on the riding side I’ve picked up technical things which will hopefully stand me in good stead for the future.”
The course aims to school youngsters in all the areas they’ll need in order to successfully join a racing yard, and has 70 retired racehorses all needing care and attention.
Each day the students ride out the horses, muck out the stables and take part in yard duty but there are also gym facilities to improve their fitness and class room work, including maths and English exams to ensure that students have a range of skills.
Rory MacDonald, the Chief Executive of the British Racing School said, “There’s no doubting that the course is tough but that’s to help prepare young people like Jack for the realities of racing. We work hard to develop them so that they come out of the course as rounded individuals.”
You can find out more about Jack’s progress at the British Racing School by watching the video: http://www.lovetheraces.com/features/stars-of-the-future/