‘London is boring by comparison’: milestone racing moment for teen who started at inner-city riding school

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  • A teenager who learnt to ride in inner-city London has taken a major step towards his goal of being a jockey by becoming the first Riding A Dream Academy student to graduate from the British Racing School’s foundation course.

    Oshane, 16, from southeast London, learnt to ride at Ebony Horse Club in Brixton, and joined the foundation course in December 2021.

    He was one of the first students on the academy’s Khadijah Mellah Scholarship programme, which supports young riders from underrepresented communities get into British horse racing.

    “I loved the scholarship and really enjoyed the foundation course, but it was a lot of hard work,” said Oshane.

    “You get up at 6am to look after the horses and are busy all day. I loved riding all the different horses, particularly the challenging ones, and I really liked a horse called The Gay Cavalier – I just liked his way and his intelligence.

    “I went back to London for a few days before starting on my yard placement and London is boring by comparison – usually you would be busy the whole time in Newmarket so I am looking forward to getting started.”

    Broadcaster Oli Bell, who founded the Riding A Dream Academy alongside Great British Racing’s Naomi Lawson, said they are “all so proud” of what Oshane has achieved and “can’t wait to follow his career”.

    “I first saw him at Ebony Horse Club a few years ago, and for him to have grown into the stylish rider he is today and be riding racehorses is so exciting,” said Oli.

    “Oshane is the perfect example of how the Riding A Dream Academy can support young riders into the racing industry and our hope is that he is the first of many young people from the academy who go on to pursue a career in the sport.”

    The academy, funded by the Racing Foundation, is based at the British Racing School in Newmarket. Demand for its programmes, which include the scholarship and a residential week, have outstripped places nearly four times over.

    It aims to help racing become more diverse and inclusive and to support young people from underrepresented communities, disadvantaged backgrounds and diverse ethnic backgrounds get into racing.

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