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MONSIGNOR MAKES PUPILS' DREAMS COME TRUE
12th October, 2011
Children from Westley Middle School in Bury St Edmunds saw their dreams of touching a real racehorse come true when they were lucky enough to meet the ex-racehorse and twice Cheltenham Festival winner Monsignor at Newmarket Racecourse recently.
The children were at Newmarket Racecourse on the BHEST Racing to School programme where they were participating in a range of numeracy and literacy challenges using the context of racing. While they were there the children had the extra bonus of getting to meet Monsignor and even give his nose a rub!
Monsignor was at Newmarket in his ‘Meet the Racehorse’ role at racecourses during the British Champions Series. The eight times winner, including twice at the Cheltenham Festival where he broke the track record by over four seconds in 2000 when he won The Royal & Sun Alliance Hurdle, was forced to retire after an injury put an end to his racing career. With time to recover he is now acting as an ambassador for HEROS.
The BHEST Racing to School team runs a range of activities to enable children and young people to practise their numeracy and literacy skills and get unique behind the scenes access to racecourses, trainers’ yards and studs. For 85% of the children Racing to School is their first ever racecourse experience, and gives many their first contact with a horse.
Monsignor certainly helped make the children’s day. Many of the pupils that attend Racing to School days tell us they dream of meeting a racehorse and for children from Westley Middle their wish was granted!
Grace, aged 12 said, “On the day we got to see three races and stroke an old racehorse. I thought the day was a fantastic opportunity and I will be going to the races again!”
Mark Ainsley, Assistant Head Teacher said, “Over the past four years the Racing to School educational visits have formed a regular part of the Westley school curriculum. The days enable the children to see maths in a practical context and to develop their speaking and listening skills in a public environment. Just as importantly, the children all have a lot of fun!”