What's happening at Brighton

Patcham High School pupils grab Brighton Racecourses organisational reins

Mon, Jul 13, 2015

On Tuesday 30th June 2015 four eager pupils from Patcham High School grabbed the organisational reins at Brighton Racecourse to find out how tough the going gets when they spent the day as managers at the city's popular venue.

The youngsters Gregor Shaw and Callum Collins, both aged 15, and Jacob Roberts and Ellis Markwick, both aged 14, from the school in Ladies Mile Road, Brighton, discovered what it was like to be in charge of a racecourse for the day when they shadowed management teams and individuals across the course of a typical raceday at one of Sussex's most unique racecourses.

The pupils visited the racecourse stables, learnt how each racehorse's identification and microchip must be carefully checked, heard from Clerk of the Scales, Leigh O'Brien, who explained the rules and regulations jockeys must adhere to, weighed each other in on the official Weighing Room scales, listened to former Desert Orchid jockey, Colin Brown, talk about his career as raceday presenter and experienced a birds eye view of a race from the Judge's box where they were asked to assist in announcing placed horses.

The highlight of the day for the boys was their course walk alongside groundsman, Joe Panther, to the start of the first race. Jo showed the boys the checks he has to make to the turf and explained how Brighton Racecourse is the only racecourse in the UK where horses must race over a working road, requiring the use of a special surface overlaid with grass.

Said Jacob and Callum:

"We had a great day at the racecourse and were amazed at how many people it takes for everything to come together on the day.

"The best bit was definitely getting up close to the horses at the start of the first race. We helped check the stalls were working and then saw the horses all load in for the race."

Added George Hill, Marketing Manager at Brighton Racecourse:

"It was great to have the Patcham High School boys at the racecourse this month. They were keen to learn about the sport and I think were surprised at the variety of jobs within their reach in the racing industry. We're delighted to have been able to show off our industry to these youngsters and hope we have inspired them for their future careers."

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