55 St Peters Preparatory School School In Action Top


Published Friday 19th of April 2013 11:37:48 AM

Students at ACS Egham International School welcomed ex-jockey Ollie McPhail to campus on Wednesday 10th April, for an interactive workshop on life in the horseracing industry.

Mr McPhail, aged 36, retired from horseracing after 129 wins and now works full-time as Lead Education Officer for the British Horseracing Education and Standards Trust (BHEST). His visit to ACS Egham formed part of the BHEST Racing To School initiative, which aims to encourage 10,000 schoolchildren a year to improve their numeracy and literacy skills using the context of the horseracing industry.

As well as asking Ollie McPhail about his time as a jockey, and learning top tips for becoming a professional race jockey, students had an opportunity to learn about the wide range of different jobs in the racing industry, from farriers to managing a stable.

Students also had an opportunity to put their horse riding skills through their paces on 'Equicizer', a mechanical racehorse that simulates the movements of a racehorse and helps horse riders improve their technique and fitness.
Tickets for the workshop were sold to raise money for the British Horse Society's charity work promoting horse welfare across the UK. So far this year students have raised over £500 for the charity.

Kate Loveday, a teacher at ACS Egham who runs the school's Horse Riding Club, commented on Ollie's visit:

'The students were really excited to meet Ollie and hear about his experiences working in the horseracing industry, as well as try out an 'Equicizer' for the first time. Selling tickets for the workshop also made Ollie's visit a great opportunity to raise some more funds for the British Horse Society and encourage students to think about the different ways in which they can help promote horse welfare.'

Ollie McPhail commented:

'It was great to meet so many motivated students and help teach them that you don't just have to ride a horse to be involved in racing. Young people in Egham are very fortunate to have a world class track like Ascot right on their doorsteps. It would be great if my visit to the school helps inspire the students, none of whom have been racing before, to get involved in the sport in the future.'

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