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LINGFIELD'S DISCOVER RACING DAY PROVES FRUITFUL FOR RACING TO SCHOOL 

18th April, 2012

The British Horseracing Education and Standards Trust (BHEST), which runs an education programme that uses the context of racecourses and racing to equip children with improved numeracy and literacy skills was celebrating after raising over £600 at Saturday’s Discover Racing day at Lingfield Park Racecourse.  

The charity’s Racing to School programme, which takes over 10,000 children, including many from inner city and deprived areas, on a unique school trip behind the scenes at their local racecourse had run a number of activities on the day to raise much-needed funds.   A raffle with three star prizes, including tickets for four to see Razorlight at Epsom, lunch and badges for four at Lingfield and a tour of John Best’s training yard with breakfast started off the fundraising.

For a small donation under 18’s could participate in an Equicizer Competition to win a signed photograph of themselves with the UK’s number one female jockey Hayley Turner.  13 year old Samuel Higgs, pictured, who attends Worth School in Turners Hill, managed to notch up a victorious 140 strides in a minute on the simulator while dressed as a jockey.

Racegoers dug deep for the bucket collection at the exits, including those who had not had much luck at the races! 

The Discover Racing day included a number of activities to encourage newcomers to racing to find out more.  BHEST’s Lead Education Officer and ex-jockey Ollie McPhail ran a free behind the scenes tour of the racecourse, which included visits to the weighing room and the parade ring.  After which visitors could watch a farriery demonstration and horse whisperer Gary Witheford’s display before racing commenced.

It costs £30 to take a child through the Racing to School programme so the money raised will enable BHEST to support hundreds of children in the local area to participate in a unique educational experience at Lingfield Park Racecourse. 

BHEST’s Executive Director Judith Allen said, “I would like to say a huge thank you to Paul Shrimpton, MD at Lingfield Park Racecourse, and the team for giving us the opportunity to raise funds for the programme, supporting us by donating prizes and helping us on the day.”

I would also like to thank all the race-goers who were so generous in their support of our work.”