20th July, 2017

The education charity Racing to School is delighted to announce that the Horserace Writers & Photographers Association has decided to… More

11th July, 2017

Independent evaluation of Racing to School’s Riders’ Programme has revealed positive results for the charity and for racing.  More

10th July, 2017

The Newmarket Academy Godolphin Beacon Project will run for a minimum of three years, Racing to School supports the school… More

1st June, 2017

The charity is delighted to welcome two new Trustees to support our work.  More

31st May, 2017

A short video by Jessica Mclernon who is the 2016 winner of the Alex Scott Assistant Trainers Travel Scholarship. Jessica… More

12th May, 2017

An exciting day for Racing to School, our Chief Executive John Blake and Education Officer Carrie Ford were interviewed by… More

Winners of the 25th Martin Wills Awards Announced

19th April, 2017

The passion and flair for fine writing on the subject of horseracing was in all its glory at the 2017 Martin Wills Writing Awards.

Not only was there a record number of entries among the four age group categories, but the girls came out clearly on top, scooping six of the eight prizes, and filling 20 of the 26 shortlist places. Entries from Ireland were particularly strong, as always, with three category prizes claimed and a total of eight shortlist places.

The under 12 category was introduced in 2016 because of the large number of entries in the under 15 section, and this coincided with the involvement of the charity Racing to School and the National Heritage Centre in Newmarket.

John Blake, Chief Executive of Racing to School and a judge said of the entries: “As tempting as it is to suggest a loss of appetite among the text speak generation for creative composition, these unique Awards tell a different story. Warm, personal accounts jostled with clever and insightful inventions, all threaded with a passionate interest in racing.”


The under 26 winner is 23-year-old Molly Hunter from Barrow-upon-Humber, Lincolnshire. Molly has just finished a nine-month placement as a Marketing Executive at Cheltenham Racecourse, after participating in the BHA Graduate Programme. Molly has a passion for racing and wishes to pursue a career in racing. She receives £1,000 for her article, Your Humble Servant, “the story of a 50/1 outsider, in one chapter a treacherous colt who wouldn’t run in a straight line, in another a kind, docile children’s pony”.

The under 18 winner is 17-year-old Jonathan Curran from Milford, near Carlow in County Carlow. Johnathon attends Irish College in Carlow, where he is studying for his Leaving Certificate this summer. He receives £500 for his piece, Winter Solstice. Jonathan says: “My story aims to capture the dark truths of depression amongst jockeys”.

The under 15 winner is 14 year old Beth Ransome from Dursley, Gloucestershire. She is currently studying at Marlborough College (the same college as the Under 15 winner last year), where she is studying for 11 GCSEs next year. She receives £250 for her article, A Painting Worth a Thousand Words. Beth explains: “My story is about a talented young jockey who was going to race in the Grand National but went to fight in World War II. In the story, I am looking at his ‘missing in action’ letter, standing in front of his portrait”.

The under 12 winner is 11-year-old Mick McGuinness from Belfast in Co. Antrim. He is in his first year at Sullivan Upper School in Holywood, Co. Down. He says: “When I wrote my entry, I was thinking back to when I was at Cheltenham to see the 2016 Champion Chase. I was comparing the differences and similarities between my day at Cheltenham and what would be happening at school. I tried to make the reader feel what I was feeling and see what I was seeing”. Mick would like to get a job in racing when older, perhaps in journalism or possibly as a race commentator.

The winning articles will be published in the Racing Post and The Irish Field. The under 26 winner will also have the opportunity of work experience at the Racing Post and will retain for a year a bronze trophy of two galloping horses by Gill Wiles.


Congratulations to the the under 12 winner, Mick McGuiness and the under 26 winner, Molly Hunter.