A London teenager who was born with one hand has successfully graduated from the British Racing School (BRS) as he pushes towards his dream of becoming a jockey.
Harry Enright, 17, undertook a nine-week course at the BRS, before returning to complete an 18-week foundation course and has now joined trainer Lawney Hill’s yard as a work rider.
The BRS, Steve Cox and the team at Dorset Orthopaedic, and Harry worked together to create a prosthetic hand that allows him to safely ride racehorses.
“The prosthetic is made of silicon which slides on to my arm and there is a magnet at the end which attaches to the reins. A power circuit keeps it in place and if I fall off the circuit is broken, releasing the magnet so that I don’t get caught up in the reins [and] dragged along,” Harry explained.
“When I was younger I was quite into football and it got to the point where I thought I could either continue playing that, work in an office or try to make something of myself. I’ve always loved horses and decided I wanted to take that further and get into racing so I came to the British Racing School. There is Guy Disney who rides with a lower limb prosthetic, but we weren’t aware of anyone else who rode with a prosthetic arm.”
Harry added: “Everyone has their bigger goal of where they want to be. The biggest goal for me is probably trying to be a jockey. For now, I’m just taking it step by step.
“My next goal was to get into the workplace and I’ve achieved that and now it’s just continuing to move forwards towards my dreams.”
Harry’s love of horses can be traced back to sitting on a donkey at eight months old while on holiday in Ireland. When he decided he wanted to pursue a career in racing, his parents turned to the BRS.
Andrew Braithwaite, finance director at the BRS, who has been instrumental in developing the bespoke prosthetic, said they needed to find a solution that kept both Harry safe and as well as all the other horses and riders around him.
“The key was to find a solution that didn’t require the horses to adapt to the way Harry was riding,” he said.
“Thanks to Harry’s determination and natural ability this has been achieved. It has been great to see him successfully complete the course and go on to full-time employment.”
The team is continuing to develop and improve the prosthetic.
Harry’s mother, Michelle, said they are all “extremely proud” of him.
“Behind all of this for him is to inspire others like him to never give up on your dreams to really put yourself out there and keep trying,” she said.
“We’re in the 21st century and he wants to show that anything is possible. We are so proud of him with his determination to fight for the dream that he wants.”
Lawney added that Harry is “hard-working, cheeky and dedicated, and he’s determined not to let anything get in his way”.
“We are so impressed with his riding ability and his manner with the horses and he has been a brilliant addition to our team since he has joined us,” she said.
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