Thieves target charity four times in eight months

The Northern Racing College, a registered charity, has been targeted by thieves for the fourth time in eight months.

Maintenance equipment was stolen from the centre near Rossington, Yorks, during a break-in on 20 January.

“It started off with small items being taken and damage to security equipment but this time they have stolen strimmers and tools,” the college’s fundraising manager Philippa Bonham said.

“We’re not like a normal college, we have students on-site 365 days a year, as well as 41 ex-racehorses and 12 to 13 other horses. It slows things down and has an impact if maintenance can’t be carried out.”

The public have stepped in to try and support the college, with offers of cash donations as well as security firms offering cut-price services going forward.

“It’s difficult to find extra money in our budget as we’re a charity but we are looking at stepping up security,” Philippa added.

“It’s a worry knowing horses are in the building next door to the maintenance shed and we also have students in on-site accommodation, although they haven’t been affected.”

She said that police were investigating the break-in and that the college had provided them with CCTV images.

The college is one of only two in Britain that offer training specifically for the racing industry.

Their 12-week foundation course for 16 to 18-year-olds provides all the necessary skills for entry level and they also offer pony racing courses for 11 to 16-year-olds as well as one-day-a-week courses for 14 to 16-year-olds still in school.

People already in the industry can also pick up further qualifications at the Rossington Hall campus, which it shares with Doncaster Equine College, and alumni include jockey Adrian Nicholls.

As well as dealing with the spate of break-ins, the college is also currently fundraising for a new racing simulator.

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Anyone with information about the break-ins can contact police on 101 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.

Anyone offering equipment, materials or financial donations can contact Philippa Bonham, fundraising manager, at philippa.bonham@northernracingcollege.co.uk

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