I first heard about Racing Welfare when I was riding as an amateur and I was invited out to Abu Dhabi where I met Dawn Goodfellow, current CEO of the charity. I lost my father suddenly in July coming up to two years ago and he held a training licence. As it was so sudden they gave me the temporary licence and I wanted to keep going so I went down the route of completing all the qualifications. I rode at Ayr at the ladies’ night meeting and a couple of the girls I rode with pointed me in the direction Racing Welfare. I made contact with them and was put straight on to Lucy, Welfare Officer in the north, who told me what I needed to achieve and how to gain my trainers licence fully.
Lucy got the ball rolling straight away and got me on to Claire down at the Northern Racing College.
I kept going with my NVQ, there was a lot of written work and I had to go down to Doncaster and ride one through the stalls along with a bit of work in the barn. Luckily I didn’t have to go to Newmarket because I am based in Carlisle, I got a space on the Doncaster course so I did my trainer’s modules 1, 2 and 3 in order. I completed them in May, June and July so I got them all done pretty quick. They also managed to condense them down which was great when you have a yard to run at home. It was very useful; the race planning was good, my team came down and we got the chance to draft a card up and that was great.
I also did a lot on the safeguarding side and health and safety, you’ve got to keep up to speed on it and we learnt how to make a business plan, all great tools for the future. Even though I’m pretty well set up, our yard already existed, there were three or four people on the course who didn’t even have a yard so it was really useful for them too. All in all it was very enjoyable.
Racing Welfare was a great help, dad had a licence since I was born so I’ve been a long time in it. When we were running horses under a temporary licence, they were a great support to me and Lucy was always on the end of the phone. She pointed me in all the right directions and they were always there to talk to, they were just brilliant.
I definitely want to train into the future, I plan to do this for quite a few years. Dad always wanted me to do this as well, it’s always been my way of life. It lives on and he would be very proud. Racing Welfare are brilliant in every single department and I’d definitely recommend them to anyone