My Day at the Northern Racing College in Doncaster by Lucy Pittendrigh
I was so lucky to be awarded a day at the NRC by the Jockey Jan Memorial Fund for my dedication to pony racing, finally Wednesday 16th October arrived, we had an early start leaving home at 6.30.
We arrived at the NRC and the horses were out already I was eager to see the one Sarah Beattie had told me I would ride, so many horses, which one was it? The rides were split into how long the students had been there, each ride went out for a trot around the 6 furlong enclosed gallop then followed by a canter, groups matched by Alison and followed by Malc in the car with a walky talky to each rider.
When it was my turn I was given a leg up on Vehari he had raced on the flat and over jumps. We trotted out 3 of us always getting instructions from Malc, finally I was to go back out to gallop I had a lead horse a lovely grey and me on Vehari, mum and my sister Louise got in the car to follow and to take videos it was amazing here I was on the gallops riding a racehorse everything I so want to do.
It was over so quickly we then took the horses back to the stables where I was able to un tack, brush and put rugs on filling hay nets and making sure the horses were ok.
A quick drink and then I got to meet Kevin Darley, a champion flat race jockey, who took us to the simulator room, he was going to video me riding a finish and then go through what points could be improved, I learnt so much from Kevin and watching myself back on the screen. Jockeys need to be so fit!!!
I left wishing my next pony race were next week and not January 2014. I cannot wait to put everything I have learnt into practise.
Thank you so much to the JJMF, Margaret Wilson, Jane Clark, Sarah Beattie and my amazing racing ponies Rascal and Hazel.